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Possibly some other virus?
Dec 27, 2005

Hi Dr Bob,

Thank you for your wonderful contribution to the world.

I did a silly thing and had protected sex with a sex female worker in September. A few days later I got a sharp pain in my lower left abdomen, started to have severe and sheet-soaking night sweats, low energy, loss of appetite and a change in bowel habits. The abdominal pain caused me to go to hospital a place I rarely go to. A week and a bit later I got swollen lymph nodes, swollen throat, bleeding gums, weight loss, loss of appetite, off-balance dizziness, chills, continuing night sweats, rash on back & back above trunk etc etc. The lot. No vomiting though. I wasn't able to do anything but rest. Only after experiencing most of these symptoms did I look on the internet and see that it could be HIV. I also had a pussy swelling/lump in the rectum at around 6 weeks, a little mucous in stool. I recognise that the lump isn't an HIV symptom, but wondered if it could be a HIV/Herpes co-infection. The abdominal pain has comes and goes even now, 3 months on.

Now my symptoms are fatigue, underweight, lower lef abdomen pains on and off, diarrhea/floaters, chronic wind, muscle aches, day sweats, large white spots at the back of my tongue, white coating and inflammed red spots at the front. My tongue looks really bad indeed.

As soon as I became ill I got tested for the major diseases but I wasn't in a risk area for any anyway. HIV was out of the question in since I used protection - my GP agreed, and said if I could accurately test at 6months if I wanted. He thought I'd picked up some other virus.

The questions are:

1) I tested negative for HIV at 28 days and was told I didnt need another test. Have you known many people who take an early test to go an and then become positive? Statistically does it mean anything?

2) Is there any chance if I do have HIV that I have made early progression to AIDs since my body hasn't fought the infection? I thought ARS only lasted a few weeks and then things were fairly normal again until the onset of AIDs? My lymph nodes are not swollen anymore that was only for a few days around week 2. Also it seems my symptoms came too early for ARS (though I did have the major symptoms around 2-4weeks) and they felt like more than just a flu type illness.

3) Are there other viruses that can last for over 3 months? Could I currently be immuno-suppressed in some other way since my body has not finished fighting it off yet?

4) When I took the condom off I washed my penis and am concerned I may have rubbed some vaginal fluid in. I had a fairly sore penis (I suffer of a mild dermitis on both my hands and head of penis) so perhaps there were small cuts that the virus could have entered. Am I clutching at straws here? Can the virus live for long outside the body?

I know the underlying fact is that I was protected, but I am still ill now and if it is a virus there won't be any medication anyway. Having been so healthy for so many years, the timing (and symptoms) of getting so ill seems too scary to be a coincidence for a guy in his mid 20s.

Thanks for your time.

P.S. Is it possible to make a donation via paypal, as I only see a postal address - I am not in the States. I really admire your mission to raise awareness. It's the only way to help slow the epidemic.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Sorry to hear you are having so many medical problems. The good news is that I strongly doubt any of them are related to HIV/AIDS.

Protected sex is indeed protected if the latex condom was used correctly and did not fail.

To answer your specific questions:

1. Testing prior to three months is not considered definitive or conclusive, so I don't recommend it.

2. No. this is not possible.

3. Sure, lots of viruses can persist for more than three months. I suggest you see a qualified infectious disease doctor if you are having persistent symptoms. Regarding "immunosuppression," no, I do not believe this is your problem.

4. Yes, you are clutching at straws and most likely chasing after an illness that you do not have! Get a proper and thorough evaluation of the condition you have, rather than focusing all your attention on HIV, a condition you fear, but most likely do not have!

Donations to my foundation from outside the country can be made by credit card (but we are not hooked up with Pay Pal), direct wire transfer, money order or snail mail. The details can be found on the Foundation's Web site at www.concertedeffort.org. Click on the "Donate" tab and then on the various options for additional details.

With the proper evaluation and care, I'm quite confident you'll soon determine the cause of your symptoms and hopefully quickly regain your health and vigor.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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