May 7, 2007
Dear Dr. Fascino,
I know this may come off as a bit paranoid, but I'm truly confused about my situation and am inclined to think the worst. For the past two years I've had ongoing problem with post nasal drip and rhinitis. It's so bad that I can't even sleep well most nights. Although I've had some problems with this since I was a child, lately it seems to have gotten worse. I was tested and re-tested for allergies but I've continually tested negative. My doctor says that I have chronic rhinitis, and this worries me since I've read about a specific symptom of HIV called "HIV rhinitis". Although my last HIV test, about a year ago, was negative and my partner has recently tested negative, and I've had no other health problems, I'm worried this rhinitis could be a warning sign of HIV. So, I'm wondering if there could be any other causes of chronic rhinitis other than allergies or HIV?
Response from Dr. Frascino
Your last HIV test a year ago was negative. Your partner recently tested negative. And you're worried your runny nose is HIV related???? Dude, you may think your drippy nose is HIV, but it's snot! (Clever play on words, indeed!)
There are many causes of chronic rhinitis aside from the two you have ruled out (allergies and HIV). The most common is vasomotor rhinitis (also called non-allergic rhinitis). See an ENT physician if your runny nose and postnasal drip is bothering you. There are a variety of treatments that can help.
Remember: HIV is not your problem, OK?
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