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Symptoms not discussed recently in your forum. PLEASE READ
May 10, 2004

Hello Dr. Bob, how are you?

As in everyone else that writes to you, I'm going crazy here thinking that certain symptoms I have are indicators of seroconversion of HIV. Please help at your earliest convenience. I get my HIV test results this Friday, and I hope that I can hear from you before so that I can possibly appease my fears or brace myself for the inevitable. So far, as it is, I can't sleep at night since I don't know what's going on with my body.

Here's a summary of background and symptoms. I'm a heterosexual 34 yr old male who practices safe sex (e.g. with condom or no condom with a monogomous partner who has tested negative for HIV). I only engage in vaginal sex, and I don't engage in the art of "eating pussy" (I never liked it). I do allow for blow jobs to be performed on me, which has been taking place by my last-tested HIV negative girlfriend.

So here's what's going with the symptoms: roughly 3 months ago, I got a rash on my scrotum and pimple on the base of my penis. I went to the urologist who said it was nothing, but still checked my urine and blood for any abnormalities including syphillis and herpes type II (I do have cold sores of the mouth, which I believe is called herpes type I, and this did show up on the test).

Anyway, last week, i started itching all over my body, and several reddish pimple type blemishes started popping up. One on my biceps on each of my arms, one underneath my right arm bicep, and one on my torso. I went to a dermatologist who told me that they appear to be bug bites (all pimples are red, raised, but do not blister), and he provided me with a prescription: clobetasol propionate (a topical lotion). I immediately applied the lotion, and the bumps started to do down. My dermatologist also ran a CBC test and RPR (to recheck for syphillis at my request). CBC panel came back within normal limits, and the RBR was non-reactive.

While waiting for the results, I went back to my urologist to get re-checked. He also said that the red spots were bug bites or something similar, and he prescribed me some sort of shampoo, and informed to stop sleeping with my dogs in the same bed (it's important to note that my girlfriend (who lives with me and sleeps in the same bed) also developed itching at the same time, but she never got the welts that I have received. Her itching has since subsided without intervention. Anyway, my urologist ran a check of my urine again which came back within normal limits for all blood cells and protein. on a side note, I also had a bruise right above my but cheeks for several weeks now, but i didn't show it to any of my doctors because i just thought of it as a bruise, and that's all.

Then, this past weekend, i went out of town with some friends and forgot to take my medication for the red bumps. Low and behold, the bumps spread throughout my body in random areas (e.g., one here, one there, but not in clusters) although it appears as if all of the red bumps are located in the same area of each portion of my body as compared to it's counterpart (e.g., if one is on my left hip, then there's one almost just like it on my right hip, and so forth). Also, i developed two more bruises on my butt, continue to itch intermittantly throughout my body, and now have approximately 13 red bumps or so throughout my body and some small bruises on my torso as well.

Could this be symptoms of HIV? I don't have a fever, swollen lymph nodes, tongue infection, fatigue, diahrreah, weight loss, etc.; just the symptoms discussed above as well as minor night sweats and chills (that seeemed to be related to all of the drinking i did this weekend, and oddly enough, tend to go away when i stop thinking about them). As a result of all of this, i went and saw an internist this week, because curiousity killed the cat, and I jumped on the internet to look at pictures to see what I might have. Of course, i'm now convinced that the pimples and bruises are Idiopathic Thrombocytogenic Purporas and petechiae associated with HIV infection. My internist examined me and said that i don't have either of those conditions, and that what i appear to have is a case of follicitis and regular bruising (or something that sounds like that). In any case, he understood my fears, and is now running a more comprehensive blood panel on me that includes testing for HIV, liver problems, and thyroid (i'm a heavy social drinker and i'm curious if my condition relates to too my stress on my liver; although the Dr. said that my liver and spleen appeared to be normal upon physical examination). I'm also heavily stressed daily as a result of 3 jobs that i have.

So does this sound like something i should worry about? I'm going crazy over here, am on the internet all day searching for pictures of stuff that looks like my condition, and i don't know how i'm going to be able to wait until Friday afternoon for my results.

Please help with your thoughts, and thank you for all of your insight in your past forum commentaries. Odd thing is that last night when i was reading your replies to people who were in similar positions, I all of the sudden felt healthy again (except for my pimples and bruises).

Please help, and yes, of course, a donation is on its way.

Thanks.

Yours truly,

Mr. Distressed

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Mr. Distressed,

I'll keep this short, as I think by now you've already received your test results and are probably WOO-HOO-ing all over town.

Your symptoms are not suggestive of HIV disease. If the rash continues, go back to the dermatologist. It could be stress-induced hives or any of a number of other conditions.

Stop "going crazy!" How can you spend "all day on the Internet searching for pictures of stuff that looks like your condition" and still hold down three jobs? No wonder you're stressed! If you insist on reading about HIV, yes, the archives of this forum should be very reassuring for you.

My guess is that very soon (if not already) your will move from being a WW (Worried Well) to being an X-Filer (X-Worried Well Guy!)

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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