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Fatigued all the time!
Apr 2, 2001

Hello Judith, Last year around February I became violently ill from what I thought was the flu. I eventually got better without going to the doctor. Approx three weeks later something else came over me and nobody could explain it. I did not have a fever but I could not get out of bed. I had absolutly no energy and had mild diareha. I have never felt the same since. I dont sleep alot but my muscles feel like jello and sometimes I am light- headed. This fatigue is persistent and severe and deplets all of my motivation. I dont even have the energy to workout any more. My last hiv test was Jan 1999 and it was negative. I am a 25 year old male heterosexual and have only had sex (vaginal intercourse) with three women since my last hiv test(most of the time protected). I have been to the doctor several times since this malaise came over me and they dont seem to have an answer either. He told me all of my bloodwork was normal although i was not tested for hiv. My doctor told me that even if I was infected shortly after my last test I would not be feeling symptoms of Hiv (especially fatigue) this early. Is this true? If it isn't, what is the normal time frame from the initial infection to the start of symptoms of hiv (such as fatigue). I hardly ever get sick or catch colds and have no other symptoms of hiv although I do have mild psoriasis on my knuckles and elbows. I am looking forward to your feedback I also have been doing some research on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Could this be a possibility? Thank You!

Response from Dr. Feinberg

If you had (hypothetically) gotten infected with HIV in Feb 2000, you could certainly be experiencing HIV-associated fatigue now, and even before now. There is no magic timeframe for the development of fatigue.

Virus infections can be associated with a "post-viral syndrome" that consists of vague symptoms including fatigue. I don't think the evidence that "chronic fatigue syndrome" has a specific cause (such as Epstein-Barr virus) is solid. I suppose you could have a "post-viral syndrome". But before I'd ascribe your symptoms to that, I suggest you get retested for HIV (just to make sure) and that you also get evaluated for depression, which is often the trigger for chronic fatigue. Good luck!


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