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Re:Desperate and alone - 1 year of fear
Apr 25, 2007

Dear Dr. Bob,

Thank you for replying to my post. I printed out eight copies for moments when I begin to have a breakdown.

Despite your reply, multiple doctors telling me I'm negative and a trip to an ID specialist I am still having trouble accepting my status.

I cannot understand why I am getting dygeusic taste sensations, thrush, asthenia, elevated IgA or any of my other symptoms if not for HIV disease. My recurrent HPV was de-diagnosed. That is just great after months of scrutiny and worry!

What now concerns me a great deal is that I have had negative serological tests for HSV despite experiencing what I believe are frequent symptoms of genital herpes (prodrome, neuralgia, erythema) in addition to my other symptoms. This is in fact what started the year of fear.

I know logically that these tests are nowhere near as sensitive as HIV tests. You addressed this in the archives, but only with people who had experienced changes in HSV serostatus. I cannot stop worrying that perhaps I cannot make robust antibodies to viral antigens because of this, coupled with my slightly low IgG.

This idea is making me go crazy. Would this mean anything to HIV testing?

Dr. Bob, my breakdowns are getting better but I cannot stop obsessing over these issues. I have days when I am close to giving up and consigning myself to AIDS. I believe sometimes I will find out I have HIV in a hospital bed with PCP or another deadly illness. By then it will be too late!

Is there any hope? I am so frustrated and totally exausted psychologically from the year of fear.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

My assessment and advice remain exactly the same:

1. HIV is not your problem. No way. No how.

2. You need the help of a psychiatrist, not additional unnecessary and completely unwarranted HIV tests.

Your recurrent HPV has been "de-diagnosed" and your HSV serology is negative. These are not reasons for you to worry more! Frevinsakes!

Stop chasing a disease you could not possibly have and seek the appropriate (psychiatric) help you so desperately need.

Dr. Bob

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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