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Help me choose a course Captain?
Sep 22, 2004

Last year I topped an ex-boyfriend twice in one evening during a surprise visit, with, alas no protection. I did note a small amount of blood on myself afterwards. He later called and informed me, to his credit, that he had just received an HIV+ result. I tested negative at six weeks, and at six months at a public health clinic where I tested anonymously using the saliva swab for the six month test. As per the archived advice I considered that definitive and moved on with my life. About one year later, I suddenly developed lymph/adenoid swelling that started at the end of June and has never completely left me (now mid sept. How was Paris?)It seems to move around, but not subside. I have found swollen nodes in my armpit, neck, back of the head, etc. I have now had a scratchy throat and dry cough for almost a month. Also swollen tonsils,mild constant headache almost daily, some canker sores, though the canker sores have been kicking around since I was a small fry. I recall having night sweats and sudden lymph swelling that ocurred and then disappeared suddenly about five weeks after my encounter, but before I was told I was at risk. I have tested negative for strep(rapid test) and negative with mono spot, and liver panal showed slight protein elevation (I ate that day) CBC normal. Antibiodics have not alleviated any symptoms. I am trying to be rational, but darnit, I wake up and my throat hurts and lymphs ache and after almost three months,fear has become a daily battle. I don't have insurance and am afraid to test again, particularly anywhere where it might end up on my chart. Having read archived material, and cdc guidlines etc, should I test again? do I fall under "test result not compatable with clinical symptoms?" I would love to hear something along the lines of "if you had been infected it is too early to show symptoms,six months with a saliva test is definitive, don't waste funds on testing" I am unfamiliar with fear and don't really have family to bring this to, so I was hoping for advice. What you do brings light and love into the world sir. My thanks. -Fearful Warrior

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Fearful Warrior,

Topped your ex twice in one evening??? Yes, I suppose that was a surprise visit!

Sorry to hear about your boyfriend's recent positive result. I would consider your negative HIV tests out to six months to be definitive. Yes, it's true that since your ex just found out he was positive, he probably was not on meds during your recent double-feature presentation. That means he could have had a sky-high viral load, which would have increased the risk for viral transmission. And you did see a small amount of blood on you after the doubleheader. However, two negative HIV tests out to six months are indeed considered conclusive. Lymph node swelling that "seems to move around" is not really consistent with HIV lymphadenopathy. I do believe your major problem is that "fear has become a daily battle."

Should you be retested? Although I do not believe you fall into the category of "test result not compatible with clinical symptoms," I do think retesting may be the quickest and most efficient way to calm your fears and set your mind at rest. Yes, use the anonymous clinic again if you are concerned about insurance issues. The odds remain astronomically in your favor that you will once again be negative. If indeed that is the case, which is expected, you should do several things:

1. Yell WOO-HOO.

2. Decide never to place yourself at risk again.

3. Get insurance now! If you ever develop HIV or another serious condition, you won't "qualify" for insurance.

4. Advise your boyfriend of your good news and make sure he knows about this site, as it may be helpful for him as well.

5. Always carry condoms in case of future "surprises!" with "exes" or "future exes."

As for Paris, it was "merveilleuse!"

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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