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Fatigue and AnemiaFatigue and Anemia
           
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PLEASE HELP VERY, VERY DESPERATE
Jun 27, 2002

Dear Dr. BOB, I hope that you answer my question. If it helps im italian too and in a real situation. I got really ill following an encounter with a girl a major apothous ulcer the day after, rash on my forehead 1 week after with acne on my face-rash reoccured at week 5, SEVERE mono-like fatigue that left my muscles weak to date,sore throat with lots of dry mouth week 3 that has came and went the dry mouth, to folliculitis on my back and chest and neck, and i feel as though i am tired all the time now, uncomfortable feeling under arms and in groin that has came and went also. Really bad inter-cranial pressure like my brain was swelling. Also stomach problems really bad dirreaha. Spoltches that look like burn marks appeared on my wrists and left. Hand is numb on right hand in pinky finger only. Also it feels as though something has invaded my nervous system making me twitch all the time. Have had numerous tests--DNA by PCR at 12,18,20,30,41,52 days all negative---RNA by PCR RT1.0 52,85 days undetected---EIA 7,18,20,30,42,49,52,60,85,95 days all negative-- p24 antigen at 42 days Negative----but heres the thing positive Western BLot at 52 days--bands p24 and gp 160, p55 present with 4 others equivical and 2 absent---- after all the symptoms ive had and the female tested twice elisa only she tested negative both times, but after questioning her she told me of nosebleeds that she could not control, hospitalized for tonilitis, ringworm like fungal infections on her skin, and pain in her sternum that moved to her right side with diareaha --all hallmarks of hiv infection---with all of my suggestive symptoms how is it eluding EIA tests if infection is present? I have consulted a doctor at A TOP University and faxed her my papers and she doesnt feel as though infection is present. I should be elated but as you know we all know are own bodys the best and something is wrong. They dont deem me as urgent and put my appt. of until 2 months away, seems to be the case with everyone i talk to. How likely is it to contract a rare strain like type O or N in the US. I know anythingis possible when we do reckless things but the female was white and from NY. Are these strain less prevelant than HIV2? Do they have the same proteins found in HIV subtype B? And if indeed it was present why do the doctors basically tell me i am crazy for trying to get a bDNA or RT 1.5 to see what is going on? To further complicate things my g/f b4 i knew i was really sick developed the same things i did and she is a regular blood donor and it happened to be her time to donate on a regular basis and she donated without a problem and it was fine. Can you help me sort this out for i really value your opinion and thanks for taking the time to answer my questions it means alot to me. I am truely desperate for my family and everyone else thinks i am crazy and i am not at ALL i really need some guidance please answer my question.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Now let me get this straight. You've had 6 negative DNA PCR's, 4 negative RNA PCR's, 10 negative EIA's, and 1 negative p24 antigen. OK. And you are worried about 1 Western Blot which had p24, gp160, and p55 bands present. Yes, I can sort this out for you very quickly. The Western Blot was wrong. Western Blots are only useful and should only be run when there is a positive EIA (or ELISA) to avoid false positives. Since you never had a positive EIA, you should never have had a Western Blot. All your concerns are unwarranted. The enormous weight of evidence is that you are negative. In fact, if you have any more blood drawn, you'll probably become anemic. Think about it. Your sexual contact has tested negative twice. You've tested negative a gazillion times, AIDS hotlines and specialists do not think you are infected and your family thinks you're nuts. So when you do get into see the AIDS specialist, I'm sure he/she will explain the limitations of the Western Blot test and why we don't use it as a primary test to screen for HIV. Hopefully, that will sooth your fears. If not, I'd strongly recommend seeing a therapist to help you deal with these irrational fears. Your symptoms are quite suggestive of anxiety/stress. Focus your attention on that problem rather than searching for a non-existent HIV infection.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob


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