Consultant says test results incompatible with clinical history
May 28, 2003
Dear Dr. Bob,
This is definitely NOT a WW question! as verified by a hospital consultant. Please, please would you be kind enough to contribute your thoughts on this one instead of one of the regular WW posts about soft stools, pimples and coated tongues! If you could kindly give your opinion on this it would be of great help to me in the midst of my genuine non-hysterical nightmare.
The following scenario would normally be a WOO-HOO I expect: Protected sex with a female of unknown HIV status. But there was a lot of vaginal fluid and possible external genital contact before a condom was put on which opens the possibility of accidentally getting some on the urethra. Three negative 3rd and 4th generation ELISA tests out to 16 weeks (10 weeks after symptom onset). WOO-HOO right?
BUT! The hospital says, Negative tests or not, there is still a questionmark over HIV.. They are genuinely exhasperated that I was discharged from the GUM clinic after 12 weeks (the 16 weeks test was done by me anonymously). Of course, many of the symptoms actually developed after I last saw the GUM clinic.
The symptoms which have been verified by the hospital physician I saw have all staged in over the last 3.5 months, and are actually now getting worse (listed below). They would make a worried well shake with uncontrollable fear. They are not making me shake with fear anymore - I am so tired of this nightmare, that all I want to know is if this is HIV so I can start trying to come to terms with it, instead of being left in continual limbo.
- Flat pink blotchy, non-itchy rash on the torso/neck/face/arms/palms that continually goes down to nearly invisible then comes back up again several times a day (duration 3.5 months) - Headache over whole surface of head (3 weeks) - Light sensitivity (3 weeks) - Tingling/numb/throbbing fingers and toes with later appearance of pitted scars in the finger tips (vasculitis I am told) (2.5 months) - Intense pressure in the lower back (2.5 months) - Intense pressure and heat behind the knees (2 months) - Unpleasant pains in the collar, underarms, inner thighs (2 months) - Painful ulcers right at the back of the mouth causing pain in the ears. (2 months) - Ulcers around the anus. (2 weeks) - Neovascularisation in my eyes according to my optometrist. (I asked for a checkup after dozens of little curly hairs started floating across my vision). (3 months) - Nausea, fatigue and worsening of other symptoms whenever I get tired or do exercise. (3 months) - Weight loss of nearly 4 kilograms over the last 2 months (the hospital told me this from my records!)
The hospital is currently testing for vasculitic diseases and other viruses but they wouldnt be surprised if these come back negative. They are writing to the GUM clinic to express their concerns. I meanwhile am planning an HIV test at 20 weeks while the medical profession scratches their collective heads about it.
Can ARS last like this for 3.5 months with negative tests at 16 weeks, 10 weeks after symptom onset? It seems unlikely but I mean honestly, for a healthy 25 year old male to just happen to develop a rash like this, strange painful ulcers right at the back of the mouth, continual intense burning behind the knees, amidst a host of other symptoms after a sexual encounter also seems highly unlikely.
Thank you so much for listening. Any input from you will help me so much right now.
Best wishes, Ben
Response from Dr. Frascino
One thing I can say with certainty is that whatever is causing your problem, it's not HIV. If all your tests check out negative, then you really should consider a psychological cause for at least some of your symptoms. Many of the symptoms you report can be caused by anxiety. It seems to me from what you've told me that the biggest "incompatibility" here is that you think your are HIV positive and the consultants don't!I would agree with the consultants! Good luck.
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