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5 months neg still symptoms!!!
Jan 31, 2004

Dear Dot Bob,

I'm a 26 Italian male and I apologise for my english.

I want to briefly summarise my story.

On August I had a vaginal unproctected intercourse in a Caribbean Iland (I did really put the condom on but the girl took it away and I did not realize it immediately, please belive me !!).

I hAd, 3 days after, low fever which is still persisting to me (37 celsious degree) and other symptoms which - as I understand - are similar to ARS symptoms (muscles pain, short breath, low fever, but no swallen gland and no rush).

I took several antibodies' tests again HIV 1 (a 6 weeks, 10 weeks; 13 weeks 4 months; 5 months) most of them were EIA (one - the 5 month - was a Abot test which I don't know what does it mean but I took in the best hospital of my city) and they were, thanking to god, all negative.

However I still have from August a persistant fever (which range from 36.8 yo 37.3 celsious degrees and during the night it goes down).

From the beginning of juannuary I started feel very dizzy (which is very painful for me since it could not allow me to work or to enjoy) and have dry mounth and red (dry) eyes (the dizziness however goes away when I drink something but the red eyes still persist also when drinking).

I've been visited by many doctors who have excluded hiv (probably they told me that just for assuring me.... )but they didn't told me the cause of my symptoms (some said that probably they are related to the neurovegetative system but I do not believ) and I do really know that such symptoms are not related to anxiety or to mental problems.

I will be very pleasure to listen what is your point of view on what's going on with me and I hope that the above description is useful for you to give me a very hopeful advise... (I know that it is impossible to make a diagnosis through internet but please tell me what you think since I would not be in a position to have a doctor like you here and if you think I would be pleased to come to US to be visited by you personally)

Finally let me say - I know that you already knows .. - that I would have been very happy to meet a doctor like you (unfortunatelly here in Italy in my city the doctor are not so expert as you seems to be and they no pay attention to you as they have to).

I will send a donation to your fondation anyhow but please take care of me.

I know that you are positive and I'm very sorry for that (really belive me!!) but I really admire your strongness and your energy that helps all of us which are scared of this deseas and I also understand that probably you would consider my concerns stupid but believe me I'm not mad and I do really have such syptoms which are not related to mental problems and I don' know how to come out from this.

bye

an Italian Friend

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Italian Friend,

Of course I believe you. I have absolutely no reason not to! I also believe you have real symptoms and that these symptoms are of great concern to you. You are correct when you say I cannot make an accurate diagnosis over the Internet. What I can do is try to interpret the information you have provided and hopefully give you some direction on how to resolve your concerns. So now it's your turn to believe me, OK?

1. HIV-related symptoms would not occur "3 days after" a potential exposure. The immune system just doesn't work that way. Certainly you may have contracted something from your Caribbean adventures, but symptoms only three days later would not be due to HIV-ARS.

2. Temperature elevation to 37.3, dizziness, red eyes, dry mouth, muscle pain, and shortness of breath are not suggestive of or worrisome for HIV-ARS.

3. Repeatedly negative HIV tests out to five months are definitive that HIV is not the cause of your symptoms. Symptoms, no matter what or when they occur, do not equal disease. I concur completely with the other "many doctors" that HIV is not the cause of your problem.

4. I'm not sure what the "neurovegetative system" is, but you do seem to be having difficulty accepting the fact that you are HIV-negative. This does not mean you don't have symptoms or a medical condition that requires attention. What it does mean is that your fears of being HIV-positive are unjustified.

5. People with irrational fears (of spiders, snakes, flying, HIV, or whatever) often benefit greatly from counseling. I strongly believe this would help you as well.

6. Your symptoms dizziness, red eyes, shortness of breath, etc. should be evaluated by your doctor. But please note, the cause is definitely not HIV-related. A wide range of conditions, including, but not limited to, anxiety, can produce symptoms such as these.

My very strong advice to you is get the help you need and stop chasing a condition you could not possibly have, it's the quickest road back to good health!

If you come to the U.S., come for a restful visit (be prepared, however, the pasta sauce here sucks) and not to seek medical attention for a condition you don't have!

Thank you for your generous donation. My foundation will use it to provide crucial services to men, women, and children living with the virus and to provide HIV/AIDS education and awareness.

Finally, if you do wind up coming to the U.S., could you bring some gnocchi and eggplant parmigiana?

Good luck, my Italian friend.

Dr. Bob



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