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I'm at the end of my rope, begging for your help!

Aug 28, 2002

Sir...Thank you for taking the time to read this entry. This really means a lot to me. On Aug 22 I had unprotected sex with a female I had just met. On Aug 23 I had a fever, sweats, the chill's and a nausea sensation. I went to the doctors that day and advised him of my lack of judgement. He conducted a blood test which yielded negative results, gave me (4) Zithromax pills and (1)Cipro pill for possible other STD's and advised to come back in 3 months for a retest. It has been 5 days since the initial examination and I have been unable to eat due to nausea, I've had diarhea, and lost about 6 pounds. I also just noticed approximately 10 white painless bumps spread out on the back of my tongue, which I read could be a reaction to the antibiotics. I'm scared out of my mind and think about these symptoms constantly throughout the day. Please tell me that I may be over-reacting to these symptoms? Could HIV symptoms be affecting me within this time period? Thank you again.

Response from Mr. Kull

Trying to determine your HIV status based on symptoms you are experiencing is unwise, anxiety provoking, and unreliable. Recent HIV infection (acute HIV infection, acute retroviral syndrome) should only be considered if ALL of the following are true:

1) You had unprotected vaginal or anal sex (inserting or receiving a penis without a condom) within the past three months.

2) Your partner was known to be HIV infected, or is a person who is in a "high-risk" category (a man who has sex with men, an injection drug user, or a person who has sexual contact with others in an area of high HIV incidence or prevalence, like sub-Saharan Africa).

3) Your symptoms are indicative of acute HIV infection (febrile illness, sometimes compared to flu or mono). The specific symptoms can vary from person to person, but acute infection most often manifests in this "flu-like" manner. It is unlikely that you would be experiencing symptoms of acute HIV infection within 24 hours.

You should stay in communication with your doctor to monitor your symptoms if they do not improve.

If you have unprotected sex (especially if you don't know the status of your partners), HIV testing is a good idea, but that does not mean you are at high risk for infection.

RMK



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