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Am I Infected/Have I Infected Others - 3rd Attempt

Oct 10, 2007

Dr. Bob, in 7/2005 I was severely intoxicated and bit someone (of unknown HIV status) and got enough blood in my mouth to taste it. I rinsed it out, but don't know how much time elapsed from the bite to the rinsing. I may have even swallowed some. I took several tests including 3 and 6 month HIV antibody tests (along with all the PCR tests you don't recommend for detection at 7, 28 days and 3, 6 months) and everything was negative. I thought I put the incident behind me. I have donated blood twice since the incident with the last time being at the end of July, a full two years after the "incident." Around the beginning of September I started having night sweats (lasting about 5-6 nights) with tingling/burning (lasting about 14 days) in my lower legs and arms, but never a fever. I thought I may have been going through acute infection, so a week after the night sweats started I went and got an antibody test along with a qualatative DNA PCR, both were negative. A week after that I got another antibody test, again negative. Eight days after that I got another antibody test (-), and since I still thought I was going through ARS I got an RNA PCR test (result undetectable). I have lost about 13 pounds (7% of my weight) since the beginning of August. I feel like have Lipodystrophy (lost all the fat from my arms and legs, it appears a buffalo hump is starting to form). Is there any chance I am infected? If the blood was HIV+ and the virus has been in my body for two years has it mutated that it will not be detected by any of these tests? Do I need to see an HIV specialist or a therapist or a combination of the two? Do I need to call the blood bank (which has never notified me) and tell them I my be + and have infected others? Please help!

Response from Dr. Frascino


Your HIV risk was minimal at best (biting someone of unknown serostatus and tasting blood). Your repeatedly negative HIV tests out to 2+ years are definitive, conclusive and extremely excessive! (Five antibody tests, Six RNA and DNA PCRs!!!) HIV is not your problem. No way. No how. But, I hasten to add you do indeed have a problem; however it is not, I repeat, not HIV!

Should you see an HIV specialist or psychiatrist?? A psychiatrist, definitely a psychiatrist.

Please note "feeling" like you have lipodystrophy and actually having lipodystrophy are two very different things.

Your problem is irrational fear of being HIV infected, resulting in anxiety and psychosomatic symptoms. Stop chasing a disease you could not possibly have (HIV) and get the help for the conditions you definitely do have anxiety and unwarranted irrational HIV fear.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

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