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Fever, diarrhea, shingles-still neg?
Jul 11, 2006

I really appreciate the work that you do.

That said, I really want to stop spending 5+ hours a day on this site. I know that I need to get on with my life and feel that your input could help me do so.

I am a 29 year old male that had an unprotected insertive exposure with a female of unknown status. Eigth weeks later, I was up vomitting in the middle of the night (one time only). The next morning, I had a fever (lasted 1-2 days) and severe diarrhea (lasted 5 days and included abdominal pain and cramping). I don't remember any rash or swollen lymph nodes, but unlike many, I wasn't sitting around waiting for symptoms to occur--I really never feared HIV--trust me, I do now!

I tested with Home Access at 8 months (I had shingles while waiting for my results--possibly from stress). The test was negative. I tested again with Home Access at 10 months and 12+ months and both were negative as well.

For some reason, I just can't shake the fear that I was infected. I've never been sick like I was 8 weeks after my potential exposure and very rarely get a fever.

I have read about every post on this site regarding symptoms and know that symptoms mean nothing without testing. However, do my symptoms sound typical of ARS? Do symptoms show up before 8 weeks out? Would shingles show up at 8 months? I know that Home Access only tests for HIV-1. Do I need an HIV-2 test?

This site has really been helpful to me. How do I donate?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Five-plus hours a day on this site??? Oh my . . . OK, dude, I'll send you literature about our 12-step program, OK?

Let me address your specific concerns:

1. Repeatedly negative Home Access tests out to 12+ months are definitive and conclusive. HIV is not your problem. No way. No now.

2. You are correct: a negative HIV test trumps any and all "symptoms" each and every time.

3. Do your symptoms sound like typical ARS? Nope.

4. Do symptoms of ARS show up before eight weeks? Yes, usually they do. Between 50% and 70% of folks with HIV infection experience acute retroviral syndrome (ARS) symptoms three to six weeks after primary infection.

5. Do you need an HIV-2 test? No, not unless your partner was from West Africa.

6. Donation information for The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation can be found on the Foundation's Web site at www.concertedeffort.org.

Finally, I believe you accurately identified your problem when you wrote ". . . I just can't shake the fear that I was infected." BINGO! There's your problem irrational fear! I strongly suggest you seek psychological counseling to help you address these unwarranted fears. Anxiety is a very real and very treatable medical condition. That is where you should be focusing your efforts.

Good luck! Feel better, OK? Remember HIV is not your problem!

Dr. Bob



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