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How common is meningitis in seroconversion ?
Feb 25, 2001

Doc, I am very concered that I have developed meningitis after a very high risk exposure 3.5 months ago. The symptoms of meningitis become very pronounced around 7 weeks after exposure.My reflexes are slower, my eyes are extremely sensitive to light [ at one point my vision seemed clouded and everything appeared yellow], I develop severe headaches that persist, and my thought processes are very confused.It seemed to get better, but still seems to recur. My neck and back do get extremely stiff at times. I have tested neg at 13weeks of an ELISA, but am showing other symptoms such as noticeable loss of muscle mass, extreme fatgiue, purple spots under skin on hands and receding gums that I only started 6 weeks ago. What do you suggest I do as my doctor [apparently a leading HIV specialist in South Africa] has told me that at 3.5 months a neg ELISA is conclusive and that all my symptons are psychosomatic[despite been placed on a 30day course of AZT/3TC 12 days post exposure ... by another misinformed but well meaning doctor]. What know that this is complicated scenario but I am incredibly scared as I used to be so healthy before this .. What in your opinion is the right thing to do [ apart from wait another 2.5 months for the 6 month window period]

Response from Dr. Feinberg

The symptoms you describe should be evaluated with a test called a lumbar puncture (spinal tap). Many organisms can cause chronic symptoms compatible with meningitis or encephalitis (your symptoms sound more like the latter to me from what you describe). If your LP is negative, then I'd follow-up with another HIV test, just to be certain.


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