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Fatigue and AnemiaFatigue and Anemia
          
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A Question Regarding CFS/HIV
Oct 23, 2000

Hello Sir,I know your a very busy man but I would appreciate it alot if you would take a Minute to read my story and possibly guide some Insight my way on this..as My Status With HIV is Unknown although I Do have CFS...

Here Is My story..

This whole Ordeal started Last November..My age of 14 Is very young and I am quite Ashamed of what happened.I was a Fairly Stupid Teen trying to have some fun of what Has been a rough life for me..I Suffer From CFS...Which you may or may not know about it But it Is I believe a Auto-immune Disease...which has Some major Impact on the immune System..which causes me great fatigue everyday and Constant Headaches..and Sore Throat..which has pretty well ruined my life and caused me to not be able to go to public school but have to homeschool.CFS as you may know not much is known about it..And We are not even 100% sure its what I have,but are fairly confident.Now My Exposure Quantifies as a Low risk...I french kissed a girl for over 2 hours and Went on to rub thru Clothing in the vaginal area for over 10 min...Which I did not know but she was also on her period at the time.And I was afraid maybe I got some of it into my eye by rubbing it or possibly a cut on my finger.following that a week and half later I came down with a Flu-like illness..A Fever of 103-105 for nearly a week..Sore Throat(on top of what i already have) and Extreme Weakness Fatigue and A Dotted Rash over my chest and Back...Which came the last 2 days of my illness..and then the fever began to subside once the rash started..and it lasted for 2 days.And I Went to docter and Tested Neg for Mono and a few other illnesses.And To this day I keep worried it was ARS.I went for a HIV Antibody Test in Early Febuary some 79 days after the possible Exposure..It came back - .But I have Done alot of research on the net and found that Autoimmune Diseases can prevent HIV Anitbodies from Forming..Now with my CFS im not in the state where Im dying or Anything..I can still get around to a limited extent..but My Immune system has taken a huge blow.Would I hate to be in a State of like Dying and have Really no immune system at all for no HIV antibodies to form and pick up on the Test?Or Would it be possible that because of having A Auto-immune Disease It would prevent any HIV anitbodies from forming and Cause me to show Negative on the Elisa Test?

This is a quite Tough situation in my life just dealing with being sick all the time..and having to worry about HIV now is really adding to the frustration.and I have Recieved alot of consuling and stuff and have actually been doing very well lately as far as feeling about life goes..and This really is the last barrier for me to cross and I think I can go back to living a somewhat normal life albeit being sick.

Now I plan on going back to get another Antibody test soon because 3 months had not passed yet..although at 85 days or so I fall into the 90-95% catagory and my parents And I had felt at that time It was pretty stupid what I was worrying over and I just accepted to move on and forget about it.But Im worried now CFS may have prevented me from producing Antibodies.And Ive looked all over the Net and cant find anything Telling if CFS would have a Effect on the Elisa test.

This is a quote From the old guy on here Rick Sowadsky back in 96

"There are however diseases of the immune system which could affect antibody tests. These include auto-immune diseases, and various immunodeficiency diseases unrelated to HIV, that can prevent antibodies from being made. In persons with these types of immune diseases, a special type of HIV test, called a Qualitative PCR test (Polymerase Chain Reaction), would be used. This test looks for the virus itself, not antibodies" In My Situation would a PCR test be reccommended?Im aware it cost several hundered dollars and My family could afford that with no problem but I hear you have to take several of them since they are hard To Adminester and do in the Lab. As you all can Tell In this last year ive learned alot about this disease..and in a way its good...because I know in the future ill always know to be protective...And hopefully take a good step in stopping this horrible disease.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

I would strongly doubt that your increase in fatigue and other recent symptoms are related to HIV. You are correct in assuming that your risk was indeed quite low. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome would not prevent you from mounting an antibody response to HIV or other infectious illnesses. You do not need a PCR test. All of life is a learning experience -- I'm glad you learned the importance of safer sexual practices.

By the way true CFS is a rare condition and frequently over-diagnosed. Consider getting a second opinion about your symptoms. Most people eventually find out there symptoms were caused by something else completely unrelated and quite treatable. Good Luck.

RJF


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