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gingivitis serious
May 10, 2000

Dear Sir,

I have a bad oral hygiene (i never brush my teeth etc)and last summer i had gingivitis during vacation. My doctor was away and i didn't take care of it till it became serious: bleeding was an everyday matter accompanied with pain. I did not relate it to hiv symptoms. One month later i came back to my hometown and i visited the dentist> He said that it was a rare gingivitis (i do not remember the name). I entered the internet and i read in scientific research that this kind of gingivitis was a primary Hiv symptom -but it could happen w/out hiv as well. I was terrified because i had oral sex w/out protection and sex with protection and i could not remember whether the symptoms where before or after this specific event. After serious thought i remembered that the symptoms where before this experience and i calm down (i didn't have a test). Now I remember that some days before gingivitis get worst I had experiences with cocaine ( after sniffing it we used to lick the plate) and i am trying to ask whether i should try the test or not. I had many sexual relationships without protection between 1994- 1997.I am straight male, serious smoker (more than 40 cigarettes a day) with bad nutrition and i feel that i do not have to worry because i read that people like me get this kind of rare gingivitis much easier than other people. Should i take the test??? thanks

P.S my mouth is still awful but this gingivitis is passed away.

Response from Dr. Reznik

If you feel you at risk for HIV infection, then by all means you should have a diagnostic test for HIV performed. Considering the history you have mentioned here, a complete work up would be in order to rule out other potential sexually transmitted diseases as well.

Now to the issues surrounding your oral health..... Please brush your teeth and visit the dentist regularly. Serious oral infections, like the one you mentioned, can have systemic effects as well!

DR


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