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Donation, Donation, Donation!
Aug 26, 2003

Dr Bob!

Could you please tell me where to send a money order for a donation! I have been reading your forum for quite a few weeks now because of an experience I had that changed my life. Yes, you got it, an HIV test! Because of this, I have a few questions for you as I have been worried sick since.

It all started when I got my first test at a routine doctors appointment. No big deal...had the test done (Abbott MUREX SUDS Rapid test). Went back on Monday to get my results and the doctor wasn't in but was coming in for a couple of hours only that morning (nurse seemed very nervous when she was talking to me) and I noticed a big pink stick on my medical folder (AHHHHHHH! All I could think was that I was positive)....the nurse came out with her face beat red and told me I had to talk to the doctor about my blood results....How much more scary can you get! To make a long story short, I freaked for 3 days until the results actually did come back....negative!....Woohoo for about 1 day and then my worries started again.

At this point I was reading EVERYTHING I could on the internet, and was sure I hade many of the symptoms. I have had some significant exposures in the past, to include penile to vaginal intercourse with a female from Africa some years back. The more I read, the more I believed that the HIV test I took did not cover all the strains I have been exposed to by being with someone from Africa. Also, my physical symptoms compounded the fear. I had a purplish bump on my foot (that turns skin color when pressed).

So I got another test (Organon Vironostika HIV-1 AB ELISA by Quest Labs -- Not the 3rd generation one but the first generation one [Viral-Lyzate])...this one came back negative as well...but for some reason, I was still worried. By this point, my internist has prescribed Prozac to me (3 weeks ago). Since then I have been having weird tingling feelings in my hands and feet that come and go and occur in random places in each foot/hand asymmetrically. Could this be HIV neuropathy?

You guessed it...ran out and got another HIV test, to include the HIV-2 type. This time, I got the Abbott HIV-1/2 Recombinant (3rd generation) ELISA by Quest Labs. Again...negative...Why can't I find the reason to WooHoo? Dr Bob, do you know if these tests I did definitely rule out HIV to include all of the African strains? From my own research, it seems that they do, with the exception of Group-O which is caught by both the Organon and Abbott ELISAS around 75 of the time. In other words, would you recommend further testing?

-RT

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello RT,

No, I don't recommend any further HIV testing. No, your "weird tingling" is not at all consistent with HIV neuropathy.

Why can't you find the reason to WOO-HOO? It seems to me it's because you have an irrational fear of being HIV-positive. Perhaps the Prozac will help, but I'd also suggest you ask your doctor for a referral for some counseling to help you cope with these anxieties. I think it may be the best and most efficient way for you to regain your good health!

The Foundation information is listed below:

The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation 779 Altos Oaks Dr., Suite 200 Los Altos, CA 94024

Thanks for your donation!

Dr. Bob



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