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Fatigue and AnemiaFatigue and Anemia
           
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Fatigued , Tired and Worried
Nov 7, 2001

Hi Dr Bob,

Have tried to ask you a question a few times. You have not replied. Will try again

Had a low risk exposure. Protected oral sex with three women , inserted finger inside the woman's vagina , (had chip on the finger , hangnail). A few minutes later touched the foreskin of my penis with my finger (may have had some vaginal fluids on it).

Have felt nervous , anxious , tired and fatigued since. Have had 3 bouts of diarrhea (cleared with in a few hours each time) , common cold for a few weeks , had two mouth ulcers (cleared up in a few days) and a burining sensation in my tongue (off and on). I have had three CBC's since. My lymph count is going up each time 1.4 , 2.6 , 3.1 (2 ,4 , 11 weeks after exposure)

All other indices normal (WBC 7.3 , 10 , 9 respectively).

Questions

a) What is your evaluation of my exposure and the chances of infection?

b) DO the symptoms look like ARS to you???

c) Is it medically possible to have your lymph counts go up after exposure specailly within the first three months?? (my doc thinks that it is medically impossible for the lymph count to go up in the first three months after infection )

d) IN your view do you think I need a HIV test or should I just move on (my doc thinks I should just move on and that my risk is neglible)

I live in the third world and a lively informative reply with your quips would definitely help cheer me up and put me on the right path.

Thank you

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

I haven't responded, because this site is dedicated to questions involving HIV-related anemia and fatigue. Folks sign on to this expert forum looking for advice in these areas only. "Worried well" and "am I Infected" questions need to be posted to our expert forum on Safe Sex and HIV Prevention. They really are the experts in that arena. So, "Worried Well," and "Am I Infected" folks, please don't feel I'm ignoring your questions. I just can't answer them in this forum. I will say that most "worried well" folks are just that - worried and well! As for the "am I Infected" folks, my advice is often the same: usually you have little if anything to be concerned about, but if you're wondering, go ahead and get tested. Knowing is always better than worrying or not knowing.

To answer your specific questions:

a) Zip, zero, zilch, nada b) Nope c) Lymphocyte counts go up and down as a result of many different conditions; yes, it's possible, but it's not specifically related to HIV or any other condition. d) I think your risk is negligible and you should move on, but I doubt that will satisfy your lingering doubts. So, why not get tested? It will save your having to repeatedly write multi-part questions.

Hope you are now on the right path and filled with cheer! The other path was definitely wrong and loaded with unnecessary worry. Continue practicing safer sex. Practice makes perfect!

Stay well.

Dr. Bob


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