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Can a Duke guy ask a UNC guy for time?
Feb 22, 2004

Dr. Wohl, I would like to set up an appointment with you for an HIV examination as I live in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Triangle. I've had two potential insertive vaginal exposures this past year (August 28th and November 2nd). I tested negative for HIV on December 1st and again on January 28th (that's max. 5 months and 3 months on the two possible exposures). I realize it's way too early to consider those tests definitive. Plus, I continue to have significant symptoms. I went to a doctor in late January and detailed my persistent swollen lymph node and weight loss (10-12 lbs.? on 200 lb. frame). He examined different lymph regions and told me I was fine. He said I didn't even need to be tested again. Of course I did test the next day (Jan. 28th)! The lymph affliction is of great concern to me. It began overnight in mid-November with swelling in a left supra-clavicular node. That node went down quickly and finally disappeared in 3-4 weeks. However, I then noticed a right post-cervical node slightly swollen before Christmas that is still "up" 8 weeks later. It's been quite small all along but persistent. I've also noticed a few tiny red dots on my skin. My CBC work also showed a drop in white blood cells from Dec 1 to the Jan 28 work (7.2 to 6.5). My lymphocyte count is 1.9 (.6 to 4.2 scale) and is 28.3 (10-50 scale). Those seem low, although I have very little knowledge there! I've heard that post-cervical swelling (even localized) is an HIV indicator. Do you agree? Thank you for your time!! I'm quite worried and need to know my status regardless. Shall I continue testing? Keep up the great work!

Response from Dr. Wohl

Hi

If your HIV antibody tests were negative 3+ months after your last potential exposure, you are almost certainly not HIV+. A folllow-up HIV antibody test at 6 months after your last exposure would cinch it.

There can be many reasons for swollen lymph nodes, rash and weight loss besides HIV infection, in fact given these symptoms, the most common things would not be HIV.

Our clinic would be happy to see you if you wish. DW



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