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DR.WOHL,PLS HELP ME,NEED YOUR ADVICE!!!!
May 23, 2003

DR.WOHL, I AM A 24-YEAR-OLD WOMAN FROM CHINA,AND I JUST GRADUATED FROM UNVERSITY LAST YEAR AND BEGAN MY JOB-LIFE,BUT NOW I HAVE FALLEN INTO DESPAIR AND FEAR BECAUSE I STRONGLY SUSPECT I HAVE BEEN INFECTED HIV!!!! IN AUGUST LAST YEAR I HAD AN UNPROTECTED SEX,AND AFTER THAT I FEAR VERY MUCH AND HAVE NO SEX WITH ANYBODY UNTILL NOW!!! FROM NOVEMBER LAST YEAR TO NOW I HAVE BEEN WITH MANY PAINFUL SYMPTOMS,LOW FEVER FOR 1 MONTH,SORE THROAT FOR 2 MONTH,BITTER MOUTH,RED RASH ON CHEST AND LEG SKIN,OFTEN DIZZY,IN A WORD,MANY SYMPTOMS RELATED TO HIV INFECTION HAVE HAPPENED TO ME,AND BEFORE I NEVER MET THESE SYMPTOMS!!! I HAVE DONE HIV-ANTIBODY TEST FOR 4 TIMES,AND THE LATEST ONE WAS ON 10TH,MAY THIS YEAR,AND IT HAS BEEN 8.5 MONTHS AFTER THAT SEX,THE RESULT WAS STILL NEGATIVE,AND DOCTORS SAID I WAS NOT INFECTED HIV,BUT I REALLY STRONGLY BELIEVE THERE MUST BE VIRUS IN MY BODY,THEN I ASK FOR DOCTORS TO DO PCR-RNA TEST FOR ME,BUT ALL HOSPITALS AND CDC TELL ME THAT IN CHINA THIS KIND TEST ONLY BE USED IN RESEARCH FIELD AND THEY CAN'T OFFER IT IN CLINIC. MY GOD,NOW SORE THROAT HAS ATTACKED ME AGAIN AND LASTED FOR 3 WEEKS AND MUCH PILLS CAN'T RELIEVE IT,I BELIEVE MY IMMUNE SYSTEM HAS PROBLEMS! BUT THOSE DOCTORS SAID THERE IS NO NEED FOR ME TO RETEST HIV,ALSO THEY THINK I AM TOO STRESS.DR.WOHL,I WANT TO TELL YOU THIS FACT:ALTHOUGH I AM NOT A DOCTOR,BUT I STRONGLY BELIEVE THERE MUST BE HIV IN MY BODY,BUT WHY 8.5-MONTH ANTIBODY TEST IS STILL NEGATIVE???? I AM COMPLETELY DESPAIR AND NO ONE CAN GIVE ME WORKABLE ADVICE. DR.WOHL,PLS GIVE ME SOME ADVICE: 1,DO I NEED RETEST HIV? HOW LONG SHOULD I WAIT? 2,ARE THERE OTHER TESTS CAN BE DONE TO FIND THE SOURCE CAUSING MY SYMPTOMS? SHOULD I DO T4 CELLS TEST NOW? 3,LASTING SORE THROAT MEANS LOW IMMUNE SYSTEM??? 4,WHAT'S THE KEY STEP FOR ME TO DO NOW??? I HAVE NO OTHER CHOICE TO HELP MYSELF,PLS GIVE ME ADVICE AND TELL ME HOW TO DO NEXT STEP!!! DR.WOHL,YOUR REPLY WILL BE VERY APPRECIATED!!!I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO YOUR REPLY!!!THANKS! LINDA FROM CHINA

Response from Dr. Wohl

Dear Linda,

A negative HIV test more than 8 months since your last exposure would indicate to me that you are not HIV infected. Given your symptoms, I think searching for another cause of your illness is a good idea.

Remember, most people with HIV infection have no symptoms for long periods (usually years) after infection. Very few people acquire HIV then immediately suffer from symptoms that persist for months or years.

My advice would be to drop your focus on HIV so that you and your doctors can look for what is really causing your illness.

Good luck- DW



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