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Dear dr. pizan,need to clarify my question.
Feb 13, 2002

Hello pizan,its Joey one last time,but will continue to read your colum,love it,your comments,quotes,harmless puns its great your giving people expert information,as well as delivering it in a cheering positive way a true stand up guy.anyways,i had sex with a lady in june 1999 who was positive no condom,my first hiv test was in oct.2000,my second hiv test was in jan.2001 also a viral load test results less then 50 undect.last test was in feb.200l hiv test all of these test were negitive,also had these test as follows,cd4 722,cd8 406 testosterone 288 and im italian,i feel these low numbers are related to the exsosure i had back in june 1999.what do you think i really need your knowlege here,and sorry for screwing the the first question i wrote to you thanks a mill dr pizan.

Response from Dr. Frascino

OK Joey,

One last time - you had a significant exposure in June of 1999 and 2 negative ELISA tests at greater-than-6 months after that exposure (16 months and 19 months), and you had a negative viral load (PCR) at 20 months after the exposure. Your chances of being HIV-infected are zip, zero, zilch, nada!

Your CD4 and CD8 counts are only mildly low. CD4s and CD8s respond to lots of things other than HIV. Yours are not abnormal enough to concern me, but if they concern you, you can repeat them. Chances are they will be back to normal. If not, then you have to look someplace other than HIV for the cause.

Your testosterone level is a bit low for an Italian. Testosterone levels do go down with age, cigarette smoking, use of certain medications, etc. I can't say what the exact cause for your low level is without additional information. But, what I can say is that it is not related to your exposure in 1999.

Joey, yes, you screwed up (so to speak) by not using a condom when having sex with your HIV-positive partner in 1999; however, remember not every exposure leads to infection. You, my friend, must stop fixating on the past, accept the fact you are unequivocally negative, and get out there and start woohooing! But remember to woohoo with latex, OK?

Recheck that testosterone level. If still low, search for the cause (not HIV) with your doctor and consider testosterone supplementation to make sure your salami doesn't become a pepperoni. OK, paisan? Kidding aside, normal testosterone levels are important not only for libido, but also for mood, muscle mass, and other male characteristics Italians are so well known for!

Stay well, Joey!

Dr. Bob


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