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My doc doesn't think an HIV test is necessary
Apr 22, 2002

Typical scenario. I married my husband in 1999. We are healthy and happy and went on to have 2 babies. One is two years, the other is 1 year old. Healthy pregnancies, healthy babies, healthy parents. After all this time, I sit and wonder about HIV, and what is the possibility that one of us could have HIV? During the last 2 months of my last pregnancy, I experienced mild joint pain, and since then I've been sent to a Rheumy and she treats me for RA and Fibromyalgia. I've had 3 complete blood workups, and regular paps. My doctor is a lovely person, and she thinks we are Ozzie and Harriet, so when I mentioned an HIV test to her she gasped and said, "Oh, don't worry yourself with that! You've been married for a few years, had healthy babies, and you got some mild joint pain that's being managed." Uh, okay. I talked to my Rheumy yesterday, and she thinks that I need a shrink and anti-depressants because she thinks I'm finding things wrong with me. I woke up sweaty the other night, and convinced myself I have AIDS. And I think I got sick with Strep Throat in 98, so now I think in my mind that it was HIV invasion. Well, the other day I plug Joint Pain along with Sore Throat into my search engine, and it brought me to an HIV site. Needless to say, I've thrown myself into an out of control depression. I told my husband about it, and now he's upset with me, he thinks I should concentrated on the kids and stop being obsessive. I've told some of my friends about it who are married and have kids, and they're worried for themselves. I understand this whole HIV thing to be something that you contract, then it goes into hiding for years and years! My God! Everybody could be infected. Now I sit and look at my fat babies eating their cookies, and I want to slit my throat for not having an HIV test before I had babies. I know you're going to want us to go get tested to ease our minds, and we will. But, my main question is? Wouldn't their be so much as a teeny sign of this in our household by now? This email could have been written by any one in a situation such as mine. I have been keeping a sore throat at bay for a week now, and I'm crying all the time because I think I have HIV. I'm going around telling my girlfriends that they might have HIV and don't even know it,and same goes for their husbands. And their kids too! Yeah, I get few phone calls from these friends lately. I know everyone has had it with me. I'm trying to educate myself with this disease, and in the process, I'm diagnosing myself and everyone else.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

You, your husband, and your 2 fat babies eating cookies are "healthy and happy." Yet you are "going around telling your girlfriends that they might have HIV and not even know it and the same for their husbands and their kids . . . . " You look at your fat babies eating cookies and "want to slit your throat" for not having an HIV test before getting pregnant. "Typical scenario?!?" I really don't think so.

I strongly agree with your rheumatologist and your husband. You need to see a psychiatrist and quickly! Ask your rheumatologist for a referral. Your irrational fixation on HIV can be very detrimental, not only to your marriage and friendships, but also to your general health. OK, so you're not Ozzie and Harriet, but that doesn't mean you have to become the Adams Family either!

See the psychiatrist, get the counseling you need, and I'm quite certain you'll feel much better. If you've had significant risk of HIV infection in your past, go ahead and get tested; however, there is absolutely nothing in your story that even suggests the possibility that you are HIV-positive. OK?

Feel better.

Dr. Bob


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