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I'd rather suicide than AIDS
Nov 25, 2006

Hi Dr. Rob! I have been having some ARS since the last 3-4 months. They include fatigue, very painful swollen glands that began in my neck-then spread to the rest of my body (I can literally fel them expanding and contracting, achy joints some fungal skin rash on my breast, some molluscum looking stuff on my hands and under breast, occasional nausea, tenderness in lower left abdomin. I am currently being seen by a cardilogists for unexplained heart issues-fast heart rate, i'm on atenolol. My labs show that I am anemic, so he put me on iron 325mg. How long does anemia take to manifest itself in HIV infected people? The last time I was at his office I complained of the glands (second time), he palpilated my neck and said thay they felt normal. He looked into my troat and he saw that my tonsils were a bit swollen, but not red. He sent me to see my ENT would gave me the same diagnosis as my cardiologist. He looked over my labs and saw that eveything was working fine, my liver, kdneys, WBC, T4 cells and everything was OK (This lab was taken3 weeks before and about 2 months of the initial symtom and aprox. 3 months of possible expousure- which in detail was the rubbing of the penis in my buttucks area for about one minute (no knowledge of him egaculating) and brief oral contact with his penis for about 30 secs. While this happened I did taste some thing for his penis. The way my Dr.s felt for the glands is different for the way I do it when I feel them and they hurt-I sware they're there! all over my neck and body. One time I even felt them in my elbow joint! I am scared to get an HIV test because I think I already know the results-these symtoms that I am having are classic ARS. Could I have gotten infect from that incidence? Can an infected person's WBC and T4 cells be normal with in 2-3 months of exposer? How should I tell my mom (who beleives that I'm not sexually active, about what's happening? Dr. Rob everyone emulates me, my peers, my familiy, they expect so much of me. I am a straight A pre-med student, I can't tell them that I might have HIV! Everyone thinks that I'm a saint. I feel like my future and my life is ending. I'd rather take my own life than die of AIDS. Help me I need your treasured advice on these issues DR. Rob.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

You'd rather take your own life than die of AIDS? Hmmm . . . if I followed that twisted logic I wouldn't be here to give you my "treasured advice!" Those kinds of comments are more than a bit insensitive to the 40 million of us struggling to survive with HIV/AIDS.

Even though you are "a straight-A pre-med student," you will never be a good physician if you cannot more effectively cope with adversity and potential illness. Being too scared to get an HIV test, because you feel you "already know" the results, is nonsense. Your symptoms are classic anxiety, not classic ARS. I would tend to believe the cardiologist and ENT physicians that your glands are not swollen! They are physicians. You're a scared premed who has a very high opinion of himself: "everyone emulates me!?!" Hmmm . . . perhaps your personal stress levels would decrease if you were more open and honest with your peers and family. I see no reason to tell your family you might have HIV, because you don't. However, why not be honest about being sexually active. It's definitely time for you to grow up. If you feel you've placed yourself at risk for HIV, get an HIV test. It really is just that simple. If you are unable to even take care of yourself, I suggest you choose another career, as you'll never be able to take care of others either. Sorry to be so blunt, but questions entitled "I'd rather suicide than AIDS" deserve a stern wakeup call.

Dr. Bob



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