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Primary infection and Fatigue
Jun 11, 1998

How common is chronic fatigue with early HIV infection?

After a potential exposure, I had a viral syndrome with a decreased total WBC (3300), and normal ESR. HIV test after 12 weeks is negative, WBC 4500, ESR still normal.

However all the while a chronic fatigue has been developing which is getting worse and worse. I am sleeping 12-16 hours per day, and can barely keep concioius at times. It is not as much a physical tiredness as it feels like a paralyzing neurologic sleeping sickness affecting the brain.

Obviously more time must pass before I can take another HIV test to rule it out. How common is such a fatigue in early HIV infection? How valid is it as a marker for HIV vs some other unknown CFS agent?


>tired & worried

Response from Mr. Molaghan


It sounds like you're feeling pretty badly. Fatigue during acute infection does occur, but is usually accompanied by other symptoms such as sore throat, fever, distinct skin rash on the upper trunk and face, and occasional diarrhea. These symptoms only usually last a couple of weeks. You didn't mention the source of the potential exposure. Was it a sexual contact or was it a needlestick injury? A direct blood contact would increase your risk of other blood borne diseases. The fact that your HIV test is negative at 12 weeks, is a good sign that it will remain negative. It's time for you to see your physician and have further evaluation and testing for the source of your fatigue. Feeling a "paralyzing neurologic sleeping sickness" is not normal and warrants further evaluation. Also remember that sleeping 12 - 16 hours a day can be a sign of clinical depression. Good Luck.

please help

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