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Reasonable fear? (from a magnetic couple)
Nov 8, 2006

Hi Dr. Bob!

Thanks for a great column - you are hilarious.

Last possible exposure for my negative partner was two months ago. At one month, he tested Elisa negative, and had an undetectable viral load at five weeks. He's had no symptoms, but just recently developed a rash that looks like hives, on his legs and arms. I know that the Elisa is only definitive at three months.. Do you think the rash is an indicator of HIV infection? He has never had a rash like this before, and can't think of any other possible cause for it. He's pretty worried and it would be great to hear your professional opinion.

Thank you!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Magnetic Couple,

A negative ELISA at one month and undetectable plasma viral load at five weeks are extremely encouraging. But you are correct: these results are not yet definitive.

A "rash that looks like hives on the arms and legs" is not suggestive of or worrisome for HIV infection. Hives are an extremely common condition and can even be related to stress. If the hives are persistent or bothersome, see a dermatologist.

Me hilarious? Nah, not compared to Ted Haggard's October surprise outing as a liturgical Liberace! Oh it's difficult not to pen an epistle of shameless schadenfreude!

I'm sending you both my best good-luck/good-health karma.

Be well!

Dr. Bob



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