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Hepatitis and HIV CoinfectionHepatitis and HIV Coinfection
          
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Next Step - Your opinion please
Oct 25, 2004

About a year ago I had a potential blood exposure to a high risk individual. Since that time I have experienced many symptoms associated with HIV and Hepatitis. Some of these symtoms include night sweats, swollen lymph nodes rapid weight loss, abdominal pain, neuropathy and others. Suffice it to say that these took place on a time line coinciding with srs symptoms of the hep and HIV viruses.

All have passed with the exception of a chronic pain in my abdomin (right side just below my rib cage) and swollen lymph nodes which have recently come back for the third episode this year.

To the credit of my doctors I have had extensive testing including PCR for hep b,c and hiv as well as antibody tests. All have been normal. My last PCR for hiv was six months post exposure, hep c was nine months post and hep b was 3 1/2 months post. The only test that have been abnormal have been cd3 (low) on two separate tests occasions, and ALT was high (68) on one out of 4 enzyme tests that I have had this year. I recently had a host of surface antigen and intibody test for Hep B all were negative.

I realize being a rational person that these tests are very comprehensive and conclusive and based on these tests I would not be concerned if not for my symptoms. The pain in my abdomin is constant with periods or higher an lower intensity. Over the last 6 months, I can count on one hand the number of days that I have not experiences discomfort. My doctors are unable to provide me with an explanation of this discomfort nor my other syptoms including my lymph nodes. I just want to feel better or have an explanation. My doctors have discounted my symptoms based on my test results and do not think necessary to take further action. I am not looking for a diagnosis just direction.

Do I drop this and live with my symptoms? Do I go to a specialist?

Thank You!

Response from Dr. McGovern

It seems as if you have had comprehensive testing for the concerns that you have had. It is possible that you have real symptoms which continue due to a high level of anxiety after an exposure. This can be quite traumatic. If your doctors do not feel any enlarged lymph nodes and nothing is abnormal on your exam, it might be helpful to pursue couseling. Waiting for results of testing for sexually transmitted diseases can be very traumatic and anxiety-provoking. This experience may have left you feeling as if there is still some stone to be unturned. You have great results of testing - Rejoice! Dr. McGovern



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