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Dr. Robert Frascino, this may interest you
Jun 16, 2003

Dr. Bob,

I've written to you before, but I'm trying again, as I think my situation can ease many people's minds: If I end up being positive, I'll return to this forum as a graduate, and give an educational lecture for the WW crowd, and they'll see just how far you have to go to get HIV. If negative, everyone else will realize that NO amount of symptoms means certain HIV, their fears are essentially unfounded.

OK: I had straight unprotected sex with (female) of ILL repute--end of April, 2003. Dry cough, sore throat, unplanned weight loss/noticable fat loss in face, legs, ass (while eating like a horse), chronic diarrhea, mild night sweats at least once a week, VERY fatigued, malaise, swollen lymph nodes everywhere, head aches, muscle aches, dry skin, bruises, mouth sores, is how I spent May, 2003.

24 days post exposure, I took an HIV1RNA 3.0 Assay (bDNA) single amplification nucleic acid probe assay test, right in the middle of all these symptoms.

Result: <75 copies/mL (undetectable)

NOTE: If I wanted to get the best sourdough rolls, then it would make sense go to SF, right? Since I want the opinion of the #1 Doctor in the business, all had to do was go to this forum!:

How accurate (in your experience/readings) are HIV1RNA bDNA tests 24 days out as a means of diagnosing HIV? (even though it says right on the results, 'This test should not be used to establish a diagnosis of HIV-1 infection'). My I.D. specialist said point blank, "You don't have HIV." This was reassuring for about 2 minutes, until I felt my lymphs and felt tired.

If I really WAS (and still am) in the midst of an acute infection, then my blood would have immense amounts of virus in it, right?

Having seen hundreds of HIV+ people, and having seen/heard about their initial symptoms (yours as well), what do you make of my laundry list? Acknowledging, of course that everyone is different.

I took an ELISA test 33 days post exposure, which is still pending. Assuming negative, would this combo of tests be pretty conclusive? If positive, I'll write you back next week, I promise.

I know this was long, but it seems a tad more likely to be HIV than most in this forum. Also, I realize that while what you have to tell me cannot change my status, if I have it, I have it. But I value your opinion very much. At the very least, you have allowed me to get this off my chest, which believe me, helps.

Thank you very much for taking some of your time to read this. You are the man.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Uhmmm, exactly what makes you think your case "seems a tad more likely to be HIV than most in this forum?" Id say there are several thousand folks waiting for answers at this very moment who might disagree with you.

Second, if you do wind up being HIV-negative, which is quite likely, why do you think your testimonial will make "everyone else realize that no amount of symptoms means certain HIV, and their fears are essentially unfounded?" By that same logic, you should have read many, many other stories very similar to yours in the archives of this forum that would have calmed your fears!

OK, a single episode of unprotected sex with a woman of unknown HIV serostatus (despite "ill repute") is your risk. Yes, unprotected sex does indeed carry some risk; however, statistically, the odds are astronomically in your favor that you did not contract the virus. Your negative HIV bDNA at day 24 and negative ELISA at 33 days are encouraging. Your symptoms could very well be (and probably are) related to anxiety. Youll need the 3-month ELISA test for a definitive WOO-HOO, and even all my "experience" cant change that fact. Sorry. However, I will once again say all the odds are in your favor and I suspect youll be WOO-HOOing here in a few months. Unfortunately, I also suspect thousands will read your testimonial and subsequent WOO-HOO and yet continue to be just as anxious and worried as you are at this very moment.

Good luck!

Dr. Bob



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