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a last ditch attempt

Jan 12, 2006

Dear Dr. Frascino, I hope you have patience with me. Here is Thomas from Dresden, Germany. I need help. I am on the end of my tether. I had a risk and since this time I am seriously ill.I have much symptoms(lymph pain, groin-pain,skin problems,body-pain,pain in arms and legs,itching and more...) My bloodwork is alarming(cd4 between 540 and 960,cd19 repeatedly low/130,nk-cells repeatedly on the upper limit,wbc low/4,5). But all hiv-tests neg.! I have done 10 elisa-tests about 20 months for hiv1/2 and 3 proviral pcr-dna-tests for hiv1 and hiv2.(after 5,7 and 10 months). Every day is the hell. The symptoms, the bad bloodwork are not in my head!Another malady the doctors not found. Please Dr.,say the truth. How many patients you had in your big experience who tested neg. about 20 months( repeatedly elisa and pcr) but were infected? What is the probability? Should I do a cd4-test every 6 months? I am 100% sure to be infected. When you would have a patient with all symptoms but all tests neg.-what would you do??? Please help me with your opinion and big experience. Thank you very much and all the best for you! Thomas

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Thomas,

Let me respond to your specific questions first:

1. The advice I give here is always truthful.

2. Number of patients in my experience who tested negative for 20 months with repeated ELISAs and PCRs, who were subsequently found to be HIV infected? Zero! Zip! Nada! None!

3. What is the probability? Zero! Zip! Nada! None!

4. Should you do CD4 tests every six months? No! Nyet! Absofrickinlutely not!

5. You may be "100% sure" you are infected. I'm "100% sure" you are not.

6. When someone has "all symptoms," but tests negative, what would I do? I'd investigate the cause of the symptoms and stop chasing a disease that could not possibly be the cause.

Thomas, I believe you are at the "end of your tether," and I believe you have "symptoms." I'm also quite sure those symptoms are not caused by HIV. Your lab work is not suggestive of HIV disease. Why are you having CD4 tests run when there is no justification to do so? I see nothing worrisome with your lab results. CD4 cells can and do go up and down for a wide variety of reasons. This is not an HIV-specific test.

Thomas, I suggest you follow up with your doctor, regarding any persistent "symptoms" and that you seek psychiatric/psychological counseling to help you cope with your irrational fears of being HIV positive and being "at the end of your tether!" I also strongly suggest you stop HIV testing. Negative is negative, no matter how many times you run the test. I also suggest you show this post and my reply to your doctor and to your future therapist.

Dr. Bob


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