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body feels broken

Feb 7, 2007

Hi. I have been a sexually active gay male for about the past 10 years. In the past 5 years there have been several times where I have been involved in high risk sexual activity. I have gone through several periods of extreme agony wondering whether or not various problems with my health could be related to HIV. I have never been tested and I know I have to. After many years, I am finally going to get the test done in a few days. The results take two weeks though. Right now I feel like my immune system is shutting down on me. I have had a sore throat for three weeks, diareah for the past 3 days, dizziness, feels awkward to walk. Over the past few months I have had a lot of light brown freckle or mole like spots develop on my arms and back that don't really fit the description of KS exaclty but they don't seem to fit the description of anything else either. I am going out of my mind with fear and my biggest concern right now is, should I try and get a rapid test somehow? Could I be in a position where waiting three weeks is going to allow something to progress even further? Any help, if just to ease my mind while I wait until the test day, would be so much appreciated. Thank you.

Response from Dr. Frascino


You've been sexually active for 10 years, had "high risk sexual activity" several times over the past five years and now you are worried about waiting two weeks to get your HIV test results? Hmmm . . . . No, your immune system is not "shutting down." HIV and the immune response do not work that way. What you are feeling is the result of anxiety.

Personally, I prefer rapid tests when available, because getting a result in 20 minutes is infinitely less anxiety provoking than waiting two weeks. However, I do not believe that, in your situation, waiting two or three weeks will allow anything to "progress," other than your anxiety! Good luck.

Dr. Bob

sick with worry
HIV Prevention

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