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"Just " Rickettsia ....or could I be that unlucky?
Apr 7, 2006

Dr. Frascino, I hope things are great on your end. Mine, on the other hand...just do not know anymore. I am a fellow "Italian american" health care worker who did not use his education wisely with a young lady in feb(05). She has been to africa and has been escorting, which I did not know at the time. A few drinks with an unprotected trip "around the world" gave me urethritis, epididymitis, tingling down right leg over the next few weeks. Then, lower abd and back pain, slight jaundice, fever (2 weeks),dizziness,headache,feeling like I was going to pass out, swollen lymphnodes,teeth marks around edges of tongue, thrush, petechiae,folliculitis, tingling sensations upper extremities, weak muscles-especially shoulders & upper arms, extreme fatigue,various rashes, aches, pains, easy bruising, gi complaints(loose,mucus,loud bowel sounds,etc). Ended up in the ER and admitted. My herpes titers were elevated (IGG for cmv,ebv) and my GFR had dropped to apx 50%. Lost about 15 lbs. My cd4 was 800 btw. Now, several drs and blood tests later, I am still kinda worried. I had a 3w,23w,5m & 7m(I & II),11m(I & II)elisa hiv tests...all negative. I now have some joint stiffness,muscle pain, burning across entire back(with rashes), rt leg feels weak on occasion(possible transverse myelitis), hands "feel" swollen,hand & foot pain, buttocks pain,had a few itchy rashes break out on ankle, soreness sternum & ribs, dry skin, easy bleeding,stiff neck, still get lightheaded,strange bowel sounds with tenderness around belly button,skin in stool with some soreness around anus sometimes. As you can see, an exhaustive list of symptoms. BTW, I was a completely healthy active 41 yr old before this. I finally forced my Dr. to send me to an ID physician this jan(06). My cd4 was 1500(diff hospital), however, I came back pos for Rickettsia (titer >500 and do remember removing a tick 2 YEARS ago..no rash..no symptoms at that time). My concern, because of the TIMING, early & onging symptoms is this. Can a tick borne illness of this type disrupt my immune system enough to cause problems producing antibodies to Hiv? Could my huge change in cd4 counts be rebounding from acute hiv infection or from the rickettsia infection or just diff labs? Could I possibly turn positive for hiv when my rickettsia is under control? Should I use another type of Hiv testing? Should I worry about any subtypes? Or, do you think I can drop the Hiv worry and WOOHOO the best I can with having rick? I would really love and greatly appreciate your expert opinion. Your website has really been a calming influence during this past year. What a wonderful service you guys provide for many people of all walks of life. You have a new found friend, and I want to thank you in advance for any advice. God bless you

Response from Dr. Frascino

This forum is dedicated to HIV-positive folks, particularly those who have concerns related to fatigue and/or anemia. Questions related to HIV transmission, prevention, safer sex, HIV testing and risk should be sent to Dr. Bob at his "Safe Sex and HIV Prevention" expert forum. Please resubmit your question there using the same title and add the phrase, "resubmitted form the Fatigue and Anemia Forum." Thank you.


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