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Desperate and alone - 1 year of fear
Mar 25, 2007

Dear Dr. Bob,

It is coming up on a year since my awful ordeal started. I have spent an entire year scanning my mouth with a flashlight, collapsing on the bathroom floor, crying, ripping through copies of my blood work in rage and dropping out of society because of HIV fear.

I wrote a few times describing my symptoms, so I will be brief. They have included recurrent HPV, sweats, proximal shoulder pains and asthenia, episodes of generalized fasciculations, what appears to be mild oral thrush/burning mouth, soft palate petechiae and elevated IgA levels. I have not been sexually active in many years and have not had any unprotected exposure for over 7.

I have had 3 negative HIV Elisas by 3rd generation assay (by my provincial health department since I'm Canadian). I've had trouble believing my bloodwork in part because my IgG is a shave (0.35g/l) below my lab's reference range. My doctors do not think this is significant and would not affect testing, but I don't know.

I cannot figure out why these things are happening if I don't have HIV. My primary care physician thinks I am healthy. However, I stay up late at night reading about HIPS and antibody loss and other HIV testing horrors and go crazy.

Dr. Frascino, do I need psychiatric care or PCR/P24/Viral Culture? I want to get on with my life.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Since you clearly admit you ". . . go crazy," I'd definitely say you need the shrink's couch much more than additional unwarranted HIV tests! Spending an "entire year scanning (your) mouth with a flashlight, collapsing on the bathroom floor, crying, ripping through copies of your blood work in a rage and dropping out of society because of HIV fear" add additional weight to my recommendation.

HIV is not your problem. No way. No how. But you do very definitely have a problem that requires evaluation and treatment. Call the shrink before they come looking for you with a net and straightjacket!

Good luck!

Dr. Bob



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