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mononucleosis as an indicator of acute hiv infection
Sep 15, 1998

I have read that during acute hiv infection, a mono-like illness is quite common. If someone was diagnosed with mono in the past by his clinical symptoms (sore throat, fatigue, headache), a heterophil antibody test which was positive, and a complete blood count, might that have actually been hiv and not the epstein-barr virus?

Response from Mr. Molaghan

Hello Many people suffer from clinical symptoms of fever, sore throat, body rash, weight loss and fatigue during acute infection with HIV disease. Many viral infections other than HIV also cause these synmptoms. A positive heterophile antibody test is indicative of mononucleosis, and is reasonably specific for Epstien-Barr infection. However, it is possible for a person to be co-infected with HIV and other viruses such as EBV, CMV etc. If this person has risk factors for HIV they should be re-tested.

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