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generalized lymphadenopathy...a scared nurse
Aug 24, 2005

Dr Bob, First of all thank you for the wonderful job you are doing for all the worried and for the humour in your responses which has made me laugh in the hardest moments... there were a lot of them lately. Now here are my problems for the last 4 months : 2 years after a possible exposure through unprotected vaginal sex I developed lymph nodes swollen in my neck, armpits, groins and under my jaw as well...These nodes are hard, non tender, they are not fixed and have been there for at least 4 months. They are about 1 to 1.5, may be 2 sm in size. Also my blood count showed somewhat higher lymphocytes at 48 percent. My Ig are within the normal range, running on the low side. No other symptoms at all. Needless to say I got tested with EIA HIV 1, 2 right after I visited my GP ... and the result was negative. Prior to that I was tested 1 year after any possible exposure neg again. Cancer was already ruled out, so I am not worried about that. But as you have probably figured out I DO worry about HIV infection, even after the tests. It has been affecting my life greatly to the point where I feel helpless and scared all the time. Anything you would say will be a help... for my GP, too as she doesnt have anymore options to offer me, but wait and see or have another test, which is going to be nerve racking for me, even more then the first one. By the way you have the most charming smile ... would you consider a dinner with a very cute ER bulgarian nurse if you ever visit my country ?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Cute Bulgarian Nurse,

It's interesting to note that you state, "Cancer was already ruled out, so I am not worried about that." However, when it comes to HIV, which, by the way, has also already been ruled out, you still do worry. The problem here is not HIV, but your irrational fear of having HIV, despite incontrovertible evidence that you do not. The treatment for that is not another HIV test, but rather counseling to help you cope with your completely unwarranted fears. Feeling "helpless and scared all the time" is an uncomfortable and unnecessary way to live life. I believe it's time you confront your real problem anxiety rather than worry about your imaginary one HIV!

Would I consider dinner? Sure! I'll give you a call next time I'm in the greater Bulgaria area.

Feel better soon, O.K.? Remember HIV is not your problem!

Dr. Bob



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