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retinitis during acute infection???
Nov 1, 2005

Dear Dr. Bob,

About 6 weeks ago I had sex with a girl and have had symptoms like an acute hiv infection since the next day. I tested negative for ELISA and undetectable for hiv RNA-PCR after 17 days. I dont know if im hiv+ or not (will find out in a few weeks when I repeat the ELISA) but one of my symptoms was pain in the back of my eyes. Yesterday I went to my eye doctor and he sayd I have a retinitis. Is it possible to CMV to attack my eye during an hiv acute infection??

Please forgive my english and I just would like to say that Ive been reading about your work and your answers this last few weeks and I think you are an amazing person doing a priceless job. Thank you so much, you are probably the only reason I can get to sleep a little bit this last few weeks!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Is it possible to get CMV retinitis during acute HIV infection? No. It is not. CMV retinitis related to HIV is an opportunistic infection that occurs only when the immune system is severely compromised.

You do not have CMV retinitis. You don't even have a positive HIV test!

I suggest you talk to your eye doctor. There are causes for "retinitis" other than CMV.

Also, I should remind you that your "symptoms like an acute HIV infection since the next day" would not be HIV related. HIV-related symptoms would not occur for several weeks following exposure and infection.

I suggest you relax, get some sleep, stop worrying about CMV and repeat your HIV ELISA test at the three-month mark, O.K.?

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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