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Looking for advice: Recurrent Yeast Infections/HPV
Jun 24, 2013

Hi Doctor,

Thank you very much for your time. I am overcome with a sense of worry and dread and looking for next steps.

My worry stems from contracting oral gonorrhea in 2006 from unprotected oral sex. I did not have vaginal sex nor was I at the time (I was only 17). The infection was caught within days and my OBGYN prescribed antibiotics to clear it up. She also ran blood tests for HIV, Herpes, etc. At the time it was negative. This infection was followed by bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections for 6 straight months.

My OBGYN, clearly worried, referred me to an infectious disease specialist. She did not test me for HIV a second time (at the 3 month period). She suggested at that time that another doctor in the practice that might be better suited for me because she mostly helped women conceive/have babies. I sort of felt like this was her way of telling me that she didn't want me as a patient anymore. After that, I see not see a doctor until the Infectious disease specialist had an opening 5 months later. By that time, my infections had faded and he believed that I had vulvodynia instead. He never even suggested that I be tested for HIV.

In 2007, after living an allergy-free life for almost 19 years, I was told that the cause of my swollen glands were allergies (after a normal CBC test came back).

In 2008, I was diagnosed with HPV and precancerous cells. I had the strains that could cause genital warts and cervical cancer. I had the surgery to have it removed after the in-office "freezing" did not help.

Throughout this, my vulvodynia remained. Today, almost 8 years later, there isn't any presence of yeast or bacteria in my vagina. My paps are clear. I am healthy as a horse except for the week before my period each month when I have dramatic mood swings, illness, an itchy vagina, night sweats and heavy cramping which my current OBGYN believes to be the result of PMDD.

I recently went to my OBGYN to see if she could help with my horrendous pmdd symptoms. While reading about my symptoms, I came to the realization that I couldn't remember being tested for HIV. Although I've had countless CBCs, two major surgeries, and been to the OBGYN every 6 months, I do not remember ever receiving a test since the original one.

Now I've been graduated from college for 3 years, have a boyfriend of 3 years, and have an amazing career. I am worried that my ignorance and poor judgment (accompanied by me not asking my doctors the right questions) has led to this awful fate for the person I love most in this world: my boyfriend.

When I begin to see the pattern in my medical history, I bought an Oraquick test and had my boyfriend do the same. His was negative. Mine came back negative as well. I thought this would quash my worries, but it hasn't. It seems to me that my symptoms are textbook given my sexual history.

At this point, I do not even care about myself. I am terrified for my boyfriend. I cannot believe that I could be so foolish. Although Ive never done any drugs and life in an affluent area, Im all too aware that STDs can strike anywhere and happen to anyone.

Do I need to have this negative test confirmed by a blood test? If so, could you please give me some tips on how to go about it without having a panic attack?

Response from Dr. Fawcett

Thanks for writing and congratulations on your accomplishments. Your risk of HIV based on the exposure in 2006 is extremely low/virtually nonexistent. For peace of mind you could take a second test at a testing center (results are back in as little as 20 minutes), but I would focus on letting go of that worry and getting on with your life.

Take care,

David



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