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Does a Sulfa allergy mean I have HIV?
Dec 1, 2004

Doctor, about 18 months ago, I was prescribed 5 days of Bactrim for prostatitis. I had a very bad reaction (fever, rash, chills). When I looked up Bactrim online, the first thing I noticed is that it is commonly associated with allergic reaction in HIV positive patients. Since then, I've been revisiting several encounters I've ever had with women of unknown status - 2 anal with a condom that didn't break and 4 times mutual oral without a condom but without ejaculation, no cuts, etc. I'm literally driving myself crazy. Does the allergic reaction to Bactrim point toward HIV infection? Is the incidence of non-infected persons having a sulfa allergy so low that I should be worrying like I am?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Let me put this as simply as I can:

1. Having an allergic reaction to Bactrim (sulfa) means you're allergic to Bactrim. Don't take Bactrim or related drugs in the future.

2. If you've placed yourself at risk for HIV, you should get HIV tested. Whether or not you have a Bactrim allergy.

3. Should you be worrying about HIV infection simply because you had a Bactrim allergic reaction? No, of course not.

Hope that helps.

Dr. Bob



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