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Fatigue and AnemiaFatigue and Anemia
           
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I think you look great!!!
Jul 3, 2001

This is the lady who wrote to you recently "I keep seeing your face". I think you look great and have a wonderful sense of humor!!! I would hope if I am told that I have HIV that I can be as positive about life as you are. Anyway, I really just have a few questions for you.

What test should I ask for to rule out subtype O ?

Do you think it takes longer to develop antibodies to hiv 2?

Should I go to a doctor in another country to get checked for other strains?

I'm so tired of worrying. I just wish I could get a definite answer. I really wish someone would come up with one test to cover all these different types so people like me wouldn't go crazy thinking they have a rare strain. Because honestly, rare will not always be rare! Who knows how many people out there are really infected and don't even know it.

Thanks Doctor and keep up your good work!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Again, Why are you concerned about subtype O and HIV-2? Have you been sneaking off on weekends to West Africa again? My dear, I'm not an expert on testing, but I can tell you that you are searching for definitive answers when none exist. Are there very rare strains of HIV1/HIV2 lurking somewhere in the world that our current tests can't detect? Perhaps. Time will tell. No one and no test can give you the level of assurance you are seeking. If you've had antibody tests and a viral load assay, both of which were negative, your chances of being infected are infinitesimal. However, this extremely unlikely event is making you (and probably your family) miserable. Further tests in this country or elsewhere, should you continue to search for them, will almost certainly show what the others have - you're negative. What you need is help coping with your feelings that are overwhelming your ability to live a normal life. Search for a counselor to help you get over this irrational fear. I truly believe this search will be far more fruitful than the one you are on now.

Would a face like mine lie to you? HIV is not you're problem. It's mine. Worrying is your problem. Seek help and hopefully soon you'll be smiling and enjoying life's wonders once again. Good luck. Dr. Bob


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