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Depressed
Apr 24, 2000

Dear Doctor,

first of all thanks for what you are doing on your site..I appreciate your work greatly. Lately I have developed a white/creamy coating at the back of my tongue. I can scrape it off easily even with my nails, and I usually brush it off everyday. The problem is that it grows very quickly. I smoke and im 21 years old. I have noticed a number of changes in my body lately, and I am getting very depressed and paranoid that I might be HIV+. I know the best way is to test myself, but im afraid.

The surface of the front part of my tongue has become a little hard, and has faded a little. It is not a growth, just a little change in colour.

Thanks for your help.

Response from Dr. Reznik

You mention two factors in this question which would lead me to believe you have nothing more than a case of coated tongue:

1. smoking

2. anxiety

Both of these can lead to the development of coated tongue which is not related in any way to HIV infection. If you are concerned about your HIV status to the point that it is depressing you, please take the time to have a HIV diagnostic test. I know from personal experience that this is easier said than done, but with today's medical advances it is much better to know your status and seek out medical care than to let HIV go undetected.

Sincerely,

DR


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