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Hepatitis and HIV CoinfectionHepatitis and HIV Coinfection
           
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Scared with symptoms!
Mar 23, 2007

Hi, Sorry my question is a bit lengthy, and Im not sure if it should be posted here, but I dont know who else to ask, and I cant bear symptom searching anymore, please, if you are able to, could you answer a few questions for me? The past few months, I have been worried about possible HIV infection after experiencing symptoms after unprotected anal sex. (I was the insertive partner). I tested negative with P24 and ELISA at seven weeks, and received a negative ELISA yesterday, this being seven months after the possible exposure, with several negative ELISA tests in-between. However, I have still been given no reason as to the cause of my symptoms. For the past six months, I have had swollen glands in my neck, groin, underarms, and a whole 'host' of them under my chin. I have a blotchy rash that covers my stomach, and a mottled rash on my hands, the rash on my hands is red and very blotchy and seems to 'fade' if I elevate my hands, but come right back I lower them.(this rash is causing me a great deal of concern as I have read that such a rash is common in those infected with Hepatitis) I have had a chronic sore throat, regular headaches, loose stools, and have also been treated for thrush. My doctors have run full blood counts, ESR tests to look for inflammation, and a number of other tests for allergies and intolerances, and all has returned normal, and as I mention, I have had several negative HIV tests out to seven months. I do not think they have tested me for hepatitis. I have another appointment with my doctor this week, and will ask for a hepatitis test. My questions are, 1) can I rely on my seven-month negative HIV test, whether or not I test positive for hepatitis? 2) Do these symptoms sound indicative of a hepatitis infection; these symptoms have been quite severe and persistent for the past six months and shown no real signs of improvement. Yesterday I was one of the happiest men alive when I got my negative HIV result, now Im petrified again, that my HIV test is not conclusive? 3) Can I still rely on this negative HIV test at seven months even if I may have hepatitis? Last year I started the course of vaccinations against Hep B, I have had three, but am still waiting for the final injection a year later, dont know of this information is of any importance.

I would be eternally grateful for any information you may be able to give me,

Thanks, Simon, worried again in the UK.

Response from Dr. McGovern

I would conclude that your HIV test is conclusively negative.

I would not expect your symptoms to be explained by hepatitis.

I agree that hepatitis B vaccination is a good idea; you should also consider hepatitis A vaccine as well.

I cannot conclude what you symptoms may be due to. If you still have swollen glands, you can discuss with your physician as to whether a lymph node biopsy is in order.



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