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Fatigue and AnemiaFatigue and Anemia
           
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What I did, How I feel, what to do?
Mar 15, 2002

Dear Dr. Bob..

I have been reading all the questions and answers on this website for 2 days now and I can finally breath again. Just like most people who fear that they are possibly infected with HIV I feel hopeless, confused and just plain scared. After reading some of your answers I feel much more calm and now willing to deal with whatever I may have. Just so I dont forget... I must say thanks now!!!!!!!...so.... THANKS... You have been a big help with just your information, wit and humor. . Some how its easier to accept ....

My questionssssssss. (I hope i dont ask too many). I thought I would give you my entire story so you could add anything you feel necessary.

On January 6th 2001 I developed Strep throat. I went to the ER in my local hospital because I had no health insurance and no regular doctor. The pain was so bad that I could barely walk. The body aches, swollen glands, high fevers and vomiting. The ER doc gave me a cortisone shot for my throat and some antibiotics. Needless to say all the symptoms went away almost that same night. Being a gay man, every time I get sick I think!!! OH NO!!! Do I have HIV?.. Any way since the symptoms went away I began to not worry about it.

Then I had sex with a guy about 1 week later. Sorry to say it was not safe sex. I was the giver TOP of anal sex without a condom . I also received and gave oral sex and rimming. My fear is that my throat was not completely healed after the Strep Throat and if he was HIV+ that I may have received the infection. To back track a bit. I also had sex about 4 weeks before the Strep Throat .(again I was the TOP with no condom). Thought that it may also have been the point of infection (if any). I know it seems that I have lots of unprotected sex but thats not the case at all. other than those few times I think I didnt use a condom one other time about 5 years ago and have been tested several times since then. Back to my story , 3 weeks after the second sexual encounter and 4 weeks after Strep Throat I got what I think is or was Acute HIV Infection. That was on Feb 9th. Felt a bit fatigued for a few days and then on the Feb 9th I got a very high fever, chills , swollen glands, white spots on my throat(like I had with Strep) sores on my tongue, Major body aches and two nights of sweating. From what I read this sounds Like I was infected. I ordered a home HIV test ( it still has not arrived) But began to feel better after a week or so. NOW... after felling ok for another week I started feeling my nostrils get raw where they approach my throat, then body aches and swollen glands . This time it is not very painful but it has been here for a few days and keeps going away and coming back in the same day. Does this sound like the early symptoms of HIV? I never had any rash on my body, no weight loss but i know not everybody gets every symptom.

I know that the only way to be sure is to get tested.. I made an appointment for Mar 5th with a HIV doctor that is near by. Im sure I will get all the answers or most of the answers to my questions when I see the doctor and get tested, but I would like to know what you think before I go because its a whole week away and I think you could answer some of the questions to some degree.

My questions again..

Do my symptoms seem like they are Caused by HIV.? If no, why and what else could it be?

If I am HIV+ does the Fatigue and the swollen glands last for ever? (It already feels like Ive been sick for two months and I cant stand the fatigue and swollen glands.)

Are there treatments that help the fatigue and the swollen glands so that they are not felt everyday?

well I hope I didnt take too much of your time and If you can answer it would be great.. I will write back after my test results to let you know what happened

Thanks LA Dude ...

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello L.A. Dude,

My mailbox has been quite stuffed lately, and I didn't see your question until today. You should by now have seen the HIV specialist (scheduled for March 5) and probably have had your blood drawn and may even have your results back by now.

Your risk was unprotected insertive anal intercourse with several partners of unknown status. Your risk is less than if you were the receptive partner; however, there is still some risk involved in what you do, as I'm sure you well realize. The symptoms of acute seroconversion vary greatly from person to person. Your symptoms - high fever, chills, swollen glands, body aches, and night sweats - do sound like you had some type of infection, most likely a viral infection. But is this HIV, a cold, the flu, or any of 100 other types of viral infections. No one can say without the results of your blood tests. Could it be something other than HIV? Absolutely. Could it be HIV? It's a possibility.

If you were HIV-positive, would your swollen glands and fatigue last forever? No. Write back if you are HIV-positive and fatigued, and I'll give you information on the potential causes including anemia, low testosterone, etc. Swollen glands are the body's defense against an invader - any invader, not only HIV. They usually go down as the immune system fights off the invaders. In the case of HIV, which the immune system can't cure, the swollen glands usually subside considerably after the immune system and the infection reach an equilibrium.

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you, Mr. Dude. In the meantime, stock up on condoms and don't' leave home without them!

Good luck!

Dr. Bob


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