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HIV- ARS since SHINGLES attack 4 years ago
Dec 28, 1999

Could you please tell me what the definition of AIDS is? I have had ARS since my SHINGLES attack 4 years ago after a high risk exposure. My testing results have been a big puzzle. 2/20/96 -HIV-1 ELISA, 6/05/96 -HIV-1 ELISA, 3/28/98 -HIV 1/2 ELISA, 5/12/98 -HIV 1/2 ELISA, 9/15/98 -HIV-1 p24 ANTEGEN; HIV-1 INDERMINATE WESTERN BLOT(weak p51,p66 unusual weak reactivity 75,000 molecular weight, 9/17/98 <400 HIV-1 RNA copies/ml on PCR quantitative (recommended ultra-sensative HIV by PCR, 1/19/99 582 HIV-1 RNA copies/ml by PCR ulta sensative test 81624. 6/15/99 <20 HIV-1 RNA copies/ml by PCR ultra sensative test, PCR DNA test showed no HIV DNA detected. Forget my testing what about the pain. Have had bad case of SHINGLES for four months diagnosed by dermatoligist, blood shot eyes, Syringoma around my eyes diagnosed by dermatoligist had it biopsied, significant loss of hair, significant loss of muscle tone, aching joints with a stiff neck and back ache, periodic coughing, persistant nose bleed when I blow my nose, very small persistant purple nodule on my hand(Kaposi Sarcoma)?,Is there an antibody test I can check for Kaposi's Sarcoma through herpes virus 8?, post herpetic neuralgia, lack of blood circulation pale in my face but red wine helpful. Blood work back in June mostly ok minimal white blood cell count 4.2, CD4 count 535 low but not quite AIDS? Dr. do you think I am a hypchrondriac with OCD or a puzzle? Any recommendations to alleviate the physical and emotional pain? I need real help Dr.

Response from Dr. Feinberg

Your question is complicated, so I'll take it in order. First, it isn't clear to me that you're HIV+. All antibody tests (which are diagnostic) appear to have been negative. Small viral loads in the absence of a positive antibody test are not diagnostic of HIV. You don't say what your % CD4 cells is or whether it is within the normal range, so I can't interpret your count since what is measured is the % and what is normal varies from lab to lab. HIV- people get shingles also-- it's just reactivated cjicken pox. The lesion on your hand that makes you think about KS should be biopsied. Many poeple with shingles have residual chronic pain vut it's in the area where the shingles was, not at distant sites in the body. You may have some other problem, or may be one of the "worried well". I advise you to obtain a thorough evaluation of all your complaints from a competent physician. If you're HIV-negative, then practice safe sex and relax.

How long till infections begin?

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