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please please please please answer
Jan 24, 2002

ok here is the deal i had exposures from 91-94 all unprotected sex im am female in 98 i started having mouth sores and still have them off and on i tested for hiv 1 in 98 came back neg then in 2000 i got what looks like red band gingivitis around some of my teeth tested again home access neg then in 2001 i started having some mild flaking of the face in eyebrows and on nose tested again neg now in sept of 2001 i found a swollen lymph node under my arm had cat scan donne the dr said i had bilaterl swollen nodes under arms only tested agin neg i have had all these test for hiv this many yrs after exposure where do i go from here i have hiv symptoms the red bands around my teeth are like the color of my tongue i need to move on and im havent had any exposures since 94 im ready to start a family but im scared im hiv pos and its not showing on the test what ealse can i do to rule this out please help me

Response from Dr. Reznik

It is important to point out that there are not any oral conditions we see in association with HIV infection that are diagnostic of HIV. For instance, oral sores are common in the HIV negative population. In a large health and nutritional assessment study of the general population 17% had oral sores due to the herpes virus (cold sores) and 17% had oral sores known as aphthous ulcers (canker sores). I am of the opinion that these numbers are truly not representative as many more people have bouts with oral ulcers.

Concerning the red bands around your gum line, it takes an experienced provider to differentiate between linear gingival erythema (red band gingivitis) and general gingivitis. Gingivitis, as I am sure you are aware, is a very, very common finding in the general adult population.

As to why you are experiencing the other medical concerns, I cannot say, but suggest you and your primary care provider discuss other potential causes, rather than focusing on HIV disease. If you have tested negative 8 years after your last potential exposure, I would be very confident that HIV is not the cause.

Take care and feel better soon!


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