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Very Scared- Rare strain of HIV. Wife pregnant
Apr 21, 2006

Dear Doctor,

Firstly, let me congratulate you on your great work.Please let me know how I can contribute to your cause from outside USA.

I am from India. I have been to Nigeria 6 years back and had an incidence of protected sex there. But the condom had come off and I have put it back. It did not tear. One month later I developed a red blotch on my biceps which stayed for 2 weeks. There was no fever or any other symptoms.

I carried on with life and got married after 2 years. One month after the marriage, my developed a similar blotch on her leg . She also had slight fever and headache.

I got very scared and tested for HIV with rapid test which came negative. But Iam regulary getting painful swollen folliculitis on my thighs and waist which I never got before. I also have slightly swollen lymph nodes ( about 5mm size) in my groin.

In the last 9 months I tested for another rapid test and 5 elisas done. All of them came negative. My wifes rapid test during routine pregnancy tests also came negative. My CD4 count done in March 2006 is 620. CD4:CD8 is 1.2 and CD4 % is 33. CD8 is 515. I wanted to do PCR and viral load test but my doctor advised against them saying that the elisas are very sensitive and the tests I have done are enough. He also told that my CD4 is very normal for an Indian ( range 350 to 1000).

I also have slight connective tissue problem in my palms for which another doctor ordered antinuclear antibody test and anticardiolipin antibody ( ANA) test. I tested borderline positive for antinuclear antibodies and negative for anticardiolipin antibodies.

Now I am afraid that I am still infected by HIV.

What are the chances that I have a rare strain of HIV ( Since I had exposure in Nigeria) which is not being detected in HIV Elisas but is cross reacting in ANA test.

Could it be that I developed some autoimmune disease because of HIV? What are the chances that my CD4 and CD4 ratio are normal and not inverted after 6 years because of the autoimmune disease which is increasing the CD4 count ratio above normal.

Doctor please help me. I dont know what to do? Iam being very affected by these constant thoughts in my mind.

I am very scared as my wife is pregnant. I am more worried about my wife and my baby. I need your help. Please reply.Should I do any tests on me or my wife.

Thanks a lot in advance.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

I'll be brief.

You've had two negative rapid tests, five negative ELISA tests and a normal CD4-cell count. What part of "HIV is not your problem" don't you understand?

Your borderline positive ANA would not affect your numerous HIV test results.

I think you identified your true problem quite accurately when you wrote "I am being very affected by these constant thoughts in my mind." BINGO! There's your problem. You are obsessed with fears of being HIV positive. You need to seek psychological or psychiatric help to confront these irrational fears and anxieties.

Stop chasing a disease you do not have. Remember HIV is not your problem. No way. No how.

Dr. Bob



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