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Dr. Bob, please help! 2nd posting!

Jun 1, 2007

Dr. Bob please help me with my concern! But in order for you to fully understand my concern, I need to lay ALL the cards out on the table so here goes. On the night of January 6, 2000 I was on the receiving end of anal intercourse. The man was Malaysian and this happened in Kuala Lumpur. We did NOT use a condom so it was unprotected (I know, pretty stupid). Neither was I sure of the Malaysian man's serostatus.

Exactly 11 weeks and 1 day following this high risk homosexual contact, I came down with flu-like symptoms. But this was also 3 days after arriving back from a Sri Lankan vacation where I was taken on an elephant ride right into a jungle swamp! The symptoms consisted of stabbing headaches, chills and diarrhea. 5 days later as the symptoms were subsiding, I noticed a flat, rosy red, measlelike rash across my arms, chest and torso. The rash was gone by the next morning along with the rest of my symptoms.

Well, exactly 8 months and 7 days following this high risk contact (9-13-00), blood was drawn out of my arm for HIV antibody testing at the local HIV/AIDS clinic here in the U.S. Two weeks later, the results came back from the State Department of Health and Bureau of Clinical Labatories as EIA Nonreactive or negative! Well, just the other day which is now more than 7 YEARS and 4 months following this high risk contact, I received a government job offer to work over in the mideast; therefore, I was required to submit to another HIV Test. The results of this test also came back from the hospital lab as Nonreactive (negative). This particular test was entitled "HIV 1&2 AB Screen"

My question to you is, could I have caught a weird Malaysian strain or subtype of HIV that would not have shown up in either one of these 2 tests? In answering my question, I should tell you that with the exception of these weird flu-like symptoms and rash 11 weeks following this contact, it has been a relatively healthy 7 years and 4 months for me if that means anything, and I am a 51-year-old man. I've had occasional head and chest colds during that time, but certainly no unusual illnesses. Is it now safe to say that those weird flu-like symptoms were a result of something I caught in Sri Lanka and not symptoms of ARS? (Remember, they first appeared 11 weeks following this contact but only 3 days following my arrival back from Sri Lanka). Based on those two negative HIV tests (one > 8 months and the other > 7 years post high risk contact) is it safe to assume that I don't have HIV or could I have some Malaysian subtype of HIV that would be undetectable by standard U.S. HIV antibody tests and then come down with some horrible AIDS related illness a year from now? Please understand that my entire life's risk of acquiring an HIV infection occurred on the night of 1-6-2000 with that one man. I've been a good boy since!

Obviously Id feel extremely embarrassed and uncomfortable relaying this concern face to face with a doctor so if you could please address this concern of mine on this anonymous forum I would be grateful! Thank you Dr. Bob!

Response from Dr. Frascino


I'm delighted that you are comfortable "laying all your cards out on the table' with me. Although no one should be so "extremely embarrassed and/or uncomfortable" that they cannot discuss any health issue with their private physician! After all, you are paying them for their medical expertise and therefore should not be concerned about offending someone's puritanical sensibilities.

Regarding your specific question, your negative HIV tests out to seven years from your Malaysian mayhem are definitive and conclusive. HIV is not your problem. No way. No how. OK?

Be well. Stay well.

Dr. Bob

Time to be tested

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