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Tired,lightheaded and fatigued
Jun 11, 2001

I think I may have been exposed last summer because I had four encounters with unknown women but all with the use of a condom. Two months later I started to feel dizzy and lightheaded and have felt this way for seven months. I have not been tested for hiv, however I have taken several bood tests and my doctors have tested me for diabetes and thyroid disease and have been sent to several ENT's for ear infection or vestibular problems. I have also been to a nuerologist and he ordered an MRI AND ct scan. Also the Heart dr. says my heart is fine. However over the last 3 months my eyes burn profusely and I am still very fatigued and lightheaded all of the time. I have always seem to have sinus & ear problems but I am wondering if I could be infected by HIV. I dont have any fever or rashes or anything. My neurologist has put me on medication for anxiety but my lightheadedness and fatigue is still present. What do you think? My eye dr. examined my eyes and said they were fine but did not do a dilation test. I need some answers. Bob

Response from Dr. Frascino


You had "four encounter with unknown women?" Who didn't know they were women? You must have at least suspected they were women!?! OK, I'm sorry, I don't mean to make light of your concerns. The phraseology just caught me off guard. You mention you used a condom each time. Consequently, you were practicing "safer sex." Your risk of contracting HIV from these events is extremely small; in fact, almost non-existent. Feeling dizzy and lightheaded 2 months after these encounters is not consistent with HIV disease. You've had tests for diabetes, thyroid problems, you've seen several ENTs, a neurologist, a cardiologist, and, most recently, an ophthalmologist, and everything seems to check out OK.

So, what could be the problem? Throughout all these doctor visits and tests, it seems you are still very worried about possible HIV infection. You say that you "need some answers." Well, even though it would be extraordinarily unlikely that you could have contracted HIV from the encounters you described, why don't you get tested and put your mind at rest? Testing can be stressful, but I do believe your fear of HIV infection may well be the cause of many of your current symptoms. The antianxiety medication prescribed by your neurologist may certainly help in the interim. Stop "wondering" if you're HIV infected. No matter how many specialists you see, or tests you take, I doubt you'll start to feel better until you can set your mind at rest about the possibility of HIV. So, turn off the computer, take one of your antianxiety tablets, and head to the nearest testing center. You'll be very glad you did. "Trust me. I'm a doctor!"

Good luck. Don't procrastinate. Go now.

Dr. Bob

9 year old boy AIDS+ with hearing loss

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