I lost evarything?
Jul 25, 2007
Dear Dr. Bob
Since my last correspondance with you i went into therapy with Xanax and but still my fear and anxiety didn't go down. In the meantime i had an DUO (P24+antibody) and a RNA PCR<40 negative at week 9 (4 weeks post PEP) and a rapid test at week 13 all negative. What do you think? can i stop worrying and destroying my life? Please help me to get my life back.
Thank you and I hope God will give all the hapiness and blessing of this world.
I lost everything? Jun 22, 2007
It is more than 8 weeks that I read every single answer and comment @ your site and I would like to thank you for your work to this world.
8 weeks ago I had a bad experience with broken condom while having 5 minutes vaginal sex with Thai bar girl ( unknown status). Since this moment my life collapsed and I lost almost everything. ( my girlfriend my daughter- loosing my job and most of all my sanity). I started 28 days PEP Combivir within 18 hours and Kaletra within 84 hours ( when I came back home). I had a follow up tests : 0 , +2 negative. On week 3 I started experience bad symptoms : sore throat, maybe low fever ? 2 night sweats, and some days stiff neck from one side. All these lasted one week but there were enough to drive me crazy. I called my Doc and had a negative a negative P24 + antibody one week afterwards. One my follow up test at week 7 post exposure again a negative P24 + antibody. ( all in VIDAS 4th generation) My Doc says that all look very good but my anxiety and guilt made me to loose more that 25Lb till now, no interest in life and weeks of insomnia and lost sanity. Dear Bob what do you think? Please HELP ME
Next week I get 40 but I am not sure about my life anymore. Thank you from deep in my heart A lost soul
Response from Dr. Frascino
Hello Lost Soul,
Let's review the facts:
1. Your HIV risk is unprotected insertive penile-vaginal sex (condom failure) with a partner of unknown HIV status.
2. The estimated per-episode risk of acquiring HIV from unprotected insertive vaginal sex is 5 per 10,000 exposures to an HIV-infected partner. Your estimated risk would be less, as we don't know the status of your Thai gal-pal.
3. You began PEP within 18 hours of the potential exposure and took a full 28-day course.
4. Repeated fourth generation HIV tests have been negative out to week 7.
5. Your symptoms are not worrisome for HIV ARS (acute retroviral syndrome) "maybe low fever, 2 night sweats, some stiff neck on one side . . . ."
At this point I very much agree with your doctor. Your risk of being HIV positive is extremely slight. Your anxiety is way out of proportion to this minimal risk. I have no doubt your anxiety, guilt and depression are the cause of your symptoms. I strongly urge you to seek the help of a psychiatrist to help you cope with these psychological issues. It really is the best way to health and happiness.
Response from Dr. Frascino
You went "into therapy with Xanax?" Hmmm . . . well, I think both psychological counseling (therapy) and treatment with anti-anxiety drugs (Xanax) are probably both good ideas for you.
Your tests to date continue to be extremely encouraging. So should you stop worrying and destroying your life? Well, I never recommend excessive worry and/or destroying one's life, so yeah, I'd say stop!
Post-PEP guidelines recommend follow-up HIV-antibody tests out to six months following an exposure significant enough to warrant PEP. You can read more about this in the archives.
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