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should whoo hoo but can't
Aug 18, 2005

Dear Bob, this is the worried well from Wales - you may recall my earlier posts although you didn't reply? I am convinced that I have been infected with HIV following an exposure 12.5 weeks ago. Basically I have had all the classic seroconversion illness symptoms at the classic time - too many things to list, but the most worrying were drenching night sweats accompanied by a rash on my back, a bad episode of eye floaters (i am only 30 and with previously good vision) diarreah fo 5 weeks and skin changes mainly folliculitis and loads of whiteheads on my face, back, arms and scalp and mouth ulcers. All things which I have not had before, and certainly not at the same time. Anyway, it has taken over my life and I have been on anti-depressants etc for the past four weeks. I have had three tests at 6 (rapid), 9 (elisa) and 12 weeks (rapid) which were all negative but I just can't believe it. I know I should be relieved etc but I just cant reconcile all these symptoms at this time and it not be HIV. I could write off some isolated diareah etc but I have had many symptoms highly suggestive of primary hiv and I just can't move on. Obviously the clinic probably won't test me again (uk says 12 week window) but no amount of talking it through seems to help and I feel that I need to re-test in a few weeks or even months.

I just want some expert advice from you. Basically I am at the point of wanting to start a family etc but given my belief that I'm positive I dare not take that chance. I am sure that I am a late seroconverter or that the rapid test at 12 weeks didn't pick up a detectable level of antibodies.

If there were rational explanations for all my symptoms i could move on - but it just can't be coincidental.

Please could I have some honest advice (I don't mind being scared) but the more advice I get the better. thanks very much

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Symptoms, no matter what they are, do not equal HIV disease. You've had repeatedly negative HIV-antibody tests out to 12 weeks. Your results are definitive and conclusive. HIV is not your problem. You correctly identified your real problem when you wrote, ". . . but I just can't believe it." You are not a late seroconverter and you do not need any additional HIV tests. Rather, you need help with your anxiety, depression and irrational HIV fears. Your four weeks of antidepressants are not adequately treating your problem. I suggest you seek counseling to help you confront your unwarranted fears. Your symptoms are real; however, they are not caused by HIV. To "move on," get the help you need.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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