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Fatigue and AnemiaFatigue and Anemia
           
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Life threatening for my family
Feb 4, 2003

I guess my question does not matter to you guys. To me it is life threatening because Now I have had sex with my wife on Friday 1/24/03. This is the 1st time in about 12 months. I pulled out before I fully ejaculated in her. Now I am ver, very afraid. I do not know if she should get tested with Pcr or what? She is also breastfeeding our 8 month old baby girl, so this really matters to me. PLEASE, I do not know what else to say to you to have my questioned answered. Here is my story. Please take the time. -Last December 2001 I had only 3 incident's that I could have gotten Hiv(I have never had unprotected sex outside of my marriage. This has been difficult because I admitted what I did to my wife. I had 2 vaginal fingering incident's with 2 different unknown to me, women. And the only other incident was a hard lap dance and tongue touching the tip of vagina at a strip club. I didn't think anything of all this until I started getting gradually sick with Flu(diahrea, fevers, night sweats, etc). The incident's happened from November 16th to end of December 2001. I decided to take an Hiv antibody test at my Doctor's Clinic on January 11th 2002. This test was Negative. I then began to feel a bit better and a week later I noticed white stuff appearing on my tongue. I had never seen this before in my 31 years. After reading about Hiv, I thought it was thrush. I then Ordered a PCR test at about 3 weeks after the last incident. I also had burning on my penis and the Doctor swabbed and said that it was a yeast infection. Then the last week in January 2002 is when all Hell broke loose. I got so severely sick that I seriously thought that I was going to DIE. I had no idea what was going on with my body but I felt that a truck hit me! I was so severely sick that I was sent to the emergency room with so severe throat pain and heat feeling in my throat and chest. The E-Room Doctor said it appeared as thrush. I do not know how to express to you how so sick I was, it is hard to explain to others. They gave me mouth numbing medicine, etc. From the end of January 2002 my symptoms got worse. I went to the Doctor the next day and I felt numb and just crippled. I told him everything and at first he didn't believe that this is all the sexual contact I had. I told him at this point I have nothing to hide. The only risk I could think is that I know on one of the vaginal fingering incidents I had just taken off my bandaid because of a split open crack(because of dry skin)on the finger that I used for the deep vaginal fingering. He took an Hiv antibody test on January 29th. I left the Doctor's Clinic and on my way home I kealed over and felt like dying, it just hit me again. I went back to E-room and I was so sick I just wanted to be hospitalized. I'll try to wrap this up with listing the sicknesses that I went through and the Hiv testing that I have had. Here is the symptom's within a 3 weeks to 3 month span. Thrush, severe back, spine & neck pain(couldn't get out of bed at some points), green stool, nausea, night sweats, fever's, fluid in right lung(pneumonia), vision blurriness, mouth soreness(canker sores, hot, burning, white tongue), extreme fatigue, tingling, numbness, jumpy muscles, weight loss(about 15 pounds), constant flu like, and then in March 2002- 2 seizures(however, I did have 1 seizure in 2000 just out of the blue)and I was not faithful with my seizure med's. I just felt like something had invaded my body and I even said to myself I cannot take this and I considered suicide(I am glad I didnt do it). Now, here is the other Hiv antibody test's that I have taken through this year:May 5th & August 8th(at the Doctor's Clinic for Hiv 1 & 2). Both these tests were Negative for Hiv. I have to admitt I was very surprised for the Negative results. So, I just thought it was a matter of time. Now, I have taken 2 (Home Access Kit antibody tests). One test on 10/29/02 and the next one 11/23/02. Both of these tests are also negative for Hiv. The last test is about 10 & 1/2 to 11 months past the incident's. I have never felt the same healthwise since. I have a few good feeling days and then a few bad(flu-like) feeling days(hot mouth, white tongue, stinky breath(same ordor), the neck pain keeps coming back and the mysterious muscle aches (at different parts of the body), tongue burning, unstable vision (slightly blurry-come and go), headaches, etc. To conclude, I guess because I was so severely sick and still have lighter symptom's that keep coming and going up to this day, could I still have Hiv and the antibodies have just not been detected??? I thought that because I was so severely sick, physically, that it would have to had shown in my blood by now- PLEASE! I am very scared!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello "I am very scared,"

Please don't think that your question or predicament "does not matter to us guys." I must point out that this forum is dedicated to folks who are confirmed to be HIV-positive and are having problems with HIV-related fatigue and anemia. You, on the other hand, are not confirmed to be HIV-positive. In fact, you've had lots of tests indicating you are HIV-negative. And your symptoms are not specifically fatigue- or anemia-related. So asking for help in this forum is like going to the barbershop and complaining that they won't fix your car! You need to direct your question to The Body's Safer Sex and HIV Prevention forum. That forum handles all "Am I Infected?" and "Worried Well" type inquiries. OK?

Due to your level of concern, let me at least common briefly to try to set your mind at rest. Your risk of possible HIV infection is extremely low. Vaginal fingering (even if you recently removed the Band-Aid) and "tongue touching the tip of vagina" carry minimal risk. You have subsequently had a variety of HIV tests, including ELISA and Home Access, which have been repeatedly negative up to 11 months after the extremely low-risk incident. You report continually being "very surprised" by the negative results." I cannot tell you what caused all your symptoms last year, but I can tell you what did NOT cause them - HIV! You seem to have convinced yourself that HIV must have been responsible for your problem, and then appeared to become frustrated when the tests continued to be negative. You even "considered suicide."

First, please understand your symptoms could have been caused by a number of different conditions other than HIV. Your current symptoms of "hot mouth, white tongue, and stinky breath" would indicate the need for a dentist, not an unrecognized HIV infection. "Mysterious pains, unstable vision, headaches, etc." are not suggestive of HIV. However, they are quite suggestive of a stress/anxiety condition.

Do I think you "could still have HIV and the antibodies have just not been detected?" No, absolutely not. Low-risk exposure plus multiple negative HIV tests are quite conclusive that HIV is not your problem. Your illness is being "scared of HIV," not actually having it. If your general medical doctor has checked out your various aches and pains and found nothing wrong, it's time to consider psychological problems as a contributing factor in your ongoing illness. My advice is to comply with your seizure medicines, see a dentist for your oral symptoms, and ask your physician for a referral to a psychiatrist or counselor for your irrational fear of a non-existent HIV infection.

I realize this may not be the type of response you wanted to hear, or were expecting, but I honestly believe it's what you need to hear and act upon to ultimately get well. And I do hope you get well soon.

Dr. Bob


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