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Feel Guilty
Feb 17, 2000

Hi Dr.

Five month ago, I have unprotected oral sex with a girl in a bar in Mexico. One month later, I have rash that appear in my body and it last until today( nearly four months). I can't sleep well usually wake up at 3 or 4 a.m and can't go back to sleep. At two months, my I had white coated tongue and dry mouth (it still last until today). My memory lost and my vision decrease. Three month after that day, I took the EIA and STD test. They all came out negative. At three and half months I took the EIA and HIV-1 RNA PCR test the result is negative, viral load is undetected, and CD4 count is 593. The doctor said I am not infected. He explain to me that the rash and the white coated tongue is due to I am under a lot of stress so he gave me some medicine for sleeping but It does not work I still wake up at 3 or 4 a.m and can't go back to sleep and rash still appear in my body( neck, arm, leg...). Then I have unprotected sex with my girl friend about one and half month ago (she is 100% negative). Two weeks ago she have the same symptoms that I have four months ago. Wake up at the middle of the night and can not go back to sleep, rash appear in her body, fatigue, feel sleepy but when she go to bed she can not sleep and it still last until now. (she does not know about I have sex with the girl in the bar and my HIV test) So I don't think she is under stress like me. So my question is

1. Does the EIA test for HIV-1 detect HIV-2 ? how about another subtype of HIV ( all the test result I saw only HIV-1).

2. Is the RNA PCR test at three and half months is good enough.

3. How long for the rash to disappear for patients who just expose to HIV for couple months. (I saw several kind of rash that appear in my body) and it last for nearly 4 month.

4. If it is not HIV, then what kind of infected disease that I have infected my girl friend.

Response from Dr. Feinberg

If your HIV test is negative at 3 and 1/2 months, it is most likely really negative (you could be retested at 6 months to be 100% sure). Lots of other infections can cause rash -- make sure that both of you were tested for syphilis. I think the rest of your symptoms are probably due to anxiety, and that you have somehow conveyed this anxiety to your girlfriend. The current test detects both HIV-1 & 2.


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