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i'm 99.9999 sure i'm HIV- but could use your advice
Mar 26, 2001

Mr. Kull,

None of us can ever thank you enough for all of your help and concern. You have done a countless number of people a great service!!!

I made it through the window period. Eight months ago I was the recipient of unprotected anal sex with a gay male. We both tested negative at 31 weeks (>7 months) on a standard ELISA test. Literally, this would be a one-in-a-million situation if we were both actually positive!!! I can safely say its over, but I could use your advice on where to go next for lingering symptoms which coincided with the window period and which still persist.

Two weeks after the incident I caught a "flu" going around the office. It was the worst I've ever seen by the fact that it took everyone so long to get over it. It lasted 2-3 months for everyone in my office, but in my case I still have lingering symptoms 8 months later. Of course, as you can imagine, this only further fueled my anxiety during the window period!!!

My internist has given up - and without performing a single test. He said that my symptoms did not match anything he's ever heard of and that he did not even know where to send me next. He wasn't sure if I should see an allergist or a dermatologist. When I asked him how to proceed if they found nothing, he replied "I don't know".

I ended up seeing a dermatologist for my psoriasis (which I've had for 14+ years, so not an ARS symptom!) and also mentioned my symptoms to her. She offered to test me for Hepatitis B & C, and also test various liver functions. All were normal.

By the way, my symptoms are fever, a swollen neck gland and generalized itching - all of which come and go. The fever has a pattern. My temperature is normal in the morning, rises to 99.5 during the day and subsides at night. The itching and swollen gland come and go sporatically. Less frequent symptoms include irritated sinuses, scratchy throat and itchy, watery eyes.

Where should I go next? An allergist? An infectious disease specialist? I am not a hyperchondriac. In fact, I would consider myself a hypochondriac! However, I am at my wits end trying to find some answers. I would appreciate any advice you can give.

Response from Mr. Kull

I am pleased that your test was negative and that you made it through what I presume to be a difficult period. However, I think your question regarding your symptoms is a bit out of my territory. Unexplained symptoms can be quite a frustrating experience for people, so I encourage you to find the support you need while you go through this.

And remember, as I say over and over in this forum, do not ignore the important roles that our minds and emotions play in our sense of health and physical well-being.

RMK



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