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Verge of Breakdown Over Symptoms
Mar 13, 2001

Dear Dr.:

18 days ago I had unprotected vaginal sex with an escort (I withdrew upon ejaculation). Two or three days later I noticed a mild sore throat. Two or three days after that I started getting mild headaches. I went to see my doctor 15 days after the possible exposure and tested negative for HIV. Altough, I tested neg. after 15 days I am convinced that the test would not have picked up the antibodies by then. The past two days have been horrific - I've had very loose, almost diahrea like, bowel movements each morning; I can't bring myself to eat and when I do I get tremendous gastrointestinal issues (excessive gurgling, belching & flatulation); and what scares me the most is that I am waking up in the middle of the night with a sweaty forehead. I have spoken to the girl since and she said that she has never used any IV drugs or engaged in any anal sex. She also said that she had been tested for HIV in the past and came back negative. I'm so scared....I don't know if these symptoms I'm experiencing are due to AVS or stress and anxiety. No swollen glands.....YET.

Response from Mr. Kull

Your right to think that the antibody test would not be too accurate 15 days following exposure, especially if you were experiencing symptoms related to recent HIV infection at the time. However, it is difficult to tell to what your symptoms are related. Your symptoms could very well be related to the anxiety that you are feeling. It sounds like you are looking for signs that you are HIV infected. That is only going to cause you more anxiety. You need to rely on your doctor to diagnose and take care of you.

RMK



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