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low white blood cell count
Jun 11, 2002

Dear Dr. Frascino, In February, after routine bloodwork, my doctor noticed a low white blood cell count. A second test a month later was even lower, and she referred me to a hematologist/oncologist. Initially he thought it was poor nutrition ( I was taking in less than 1000 calories a day).Now we're doing all the tests-spleen,lupus,possible bone marrow tap. But last vist he asked if I'd had sexual contact with anyone with HIV. I've had two negative tests, the last was 14 months after unprotected sex, but he said you can never trust a negative HIV test. I am so worried. Is it possible that I had two false negatives? Should I get tested a third time? Please help, he said I could be sick with AIDS and it would not come up on tests for a while. I am so scared.

Response from Dr. Frascino


So where did this doctor of yours get his degree? "The School of Inappropriate Bedside Manners?" Hopefully, s/he knows something about hematology/oncology, because they are demonstrating an incredible lack of knowledge, not to mention sensitivity, about HIV/AIDS. You've had 2 negative tests up to 14 months after your last possible exposure. You are negative. Two false negatives are statistically nearly impossible.

Whatever else might be going on, you are not HIV-positive. You really don't need any additional HIV tests and your doctor was wrong to scare you into believing "you could be sick with AIDS and that it might not show up on tests for awhile." What does s/he consider "a while?" Your second negative test at 14 months is much more than "a while" in my book. As for "never trust a negative HIV test," I'd say perhaps the better motto would be "never trust a doctor who says never trust a negative HIV test." The only thing you have to worry about is that ill-mannered doctor of yours. You might consider asking your general medicine doctor for a referral to a different hematologist/oncologist, if this one continues to give you blatantly false and frighteningly misleading information.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

Sleep problems / Is everyone totally paranoid?
It's STILL All In The Smile!!!!

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