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want to woohoo
Jul 21, 2002

dear dr. bob~

Here is my situation and where I stand at the moment. I truly respect your opinion, so I hope you answer my query. 6 months ago (mid-dec), I had unprotected vaginal sex with someone I am assuming is HIV + because she told me she was negative and wouldnt come test with me. Anyway, a month or so later, came down with flu like symptoms. Then tested at 8 weeks, negative. 10 weeks or so after exposure, pharyngitis and swollen lymph nodes (femoral, inguinal, one anterior cervical, feels like one subclavicular) and the mild pharyngitis and lymph nodes have not gone away since. I tested negative via Home Access or health clinic elisa at 3, 4, 5, and 6 months. Still scared because of the swollen lymphs and white streaks in back of throat. Am I one of the really unlucky, one exposure, insertive partner, and test positive after 6 months? PLEASE HELP DOC! I want to WOOOHOO, but I don't know what else it could be? Mono symptoms last this long? If you're ever in Hawaii doc, let us know, we'll go to a luau in the sun.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Hawaii,

I'd say it's time for a Hawaiian WOO-HOO-LUAU right now. One time unprotective insertive vaginal sex is relatively low risk. Your partner's status is undetermined. She says negative, but you refuse to believe her. So, at best, her status "undetermined" not automatically positive. Add to that negative tests at 8, 10 wks, 3, 4, 5, and 6 months. I'd say the results and circumstances all indicate you are not infected. So what could cause the "flu-like symptoms?" Well, how about the "flu?" That or any number of other (non-HIV) viruses can produce those transient symptoms. How about the lymph nodes? Are you sure they are swollen? Do you really know a normal lymph node form an enlarged one?? I'd bet there's a pretty good chance they actually are normal size, and you've never noticed them before. But let's say they are swollen. Well, that can be caused by a wide array of conditions other than HIV.

OK, first step. Check with our doctor to see if the nodes really are swollen. If they are, he'll order tests to find out why. Next, start mixing those Mai Tai cocktails for the Luau! You are negative!

Stay well.

Dr. Bob

my sunshine
Kidney - Anemia

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