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New Diagnosis, no physcians avail for 2 weeks, what should I do?
Dec 16, 2006

I was diagnosed yesterday, as being HIV Positive.

This was via a double Abs-EAI, and then a Western Blot:

gp160 present gp120 present p65 present p55 absent p51 present gp41 present gp40 present p31 present p24 present p18 absent

I live in Durham, NC, but the earliest that a specialist can see me at Duke, is January 29th. (Dr Wohl, do you know if anyone at UNC is accepting new patients any sooner?)

My partner was tested for HIV about 1.5 years ago, and that came back negative (he's in the process of being tested now). My last test was five years ago, but I think I can track my possible infection back to about April of 2006.

I was tested because I've had issues with an abnormal submucosal lympnode inside my throat itself. I had my tonsils removed at age 3, so my ENT Dr assumes my body grew some alternative. The node is apparently quite old, but since August I've been having issues with it being chronically irritated. I was going to have it surgically biopsied in January (a needle biopsy revealed no malignancy), to confirm that there is no lymphoma, but I decided to see an immunologist for a second opinion. None of my other lymph nodes are swollen or causing any pain.

In the same time, the only other symptom that I've seen is issues with my skin. Pimples, irritations, small rash you can feel but not see.

In the last week or so, all of these symptoms have been lessoning considerably.

My questions are:

1) Is two weeks too long to wait to get the ball rolling?

2) Should I ask my internal medicine doctor to go ahead and order a CD4 count/percentage test so I have some "gauge" of my current state?

3) Does the number of "present" factors in my Western Blot say anything about the severity of my current condition?

4) From what I can find so far, the majority of these proteins in the western blot test are of the virus itself, but I can't find good information on P55 or P18 and what the "absent" means.

Thanks so much for the service that you provide!!!

Response from Dr. Wohl

I do not think waiting two weeks is a problem but if you are reluctant to wait I would be glad to see you sooner. As you don't have a baseline CD4 cell count or viral load, our first visit would be dedicated to getting the details of your history and then ordering these and other tests. A follow-up visit 3 weeks or so later would be set-up by which time all these labs would have returned.

The HIV test you took looks for antibodies your body has made to proteins of the HIV virus. Baasically, if you have a certain number, the test is positive. The absent of a couple of antibodies does not indicate anything about prognosis.

Feel free to contact me at the UNC Infectious Diseases Clinic on Monday if you wish to set up a sooner appointment. Ask to speak with me and if I am seeing a patient, leave a message so I can contact you.

DW



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