Dr. Bob, please help
Nov 13, 2007
Dr. Bob, please help.
I have somewhat of unusual situation, and it will be useful to other readers if you can help. I had possible exposure to HIV 7 years ago. That was the only exposure I had since then. Over period of last 6 moths I had rapid HIV tests that came back negative. Three months ago I fell sick all of a sudden. The symptoms I had since then are weigh loss (it looks like I am losing body lean mass, it especially noticeable because my stomach became disproportional to body size, looks like it gained more fat, when other limbs lost it. I had night sweats, loss of appetite, sometimes headaches and general body weakness and sometimes fatigue with unclear vision. Two weeks ago, I decided to take ELISA test in the private lab. After my blood was taken, I got back the result for HIV 1/2 which came back negative in two days. Having gotten negative test, I dont know what to do with these horrible symptoms. I checked with my primary physician, who just gave me regular blood test which was very good. I though, did not reveal my suspicious symptoms, since she is my family doctor, and regularly sees my parents. What worries me most now, that in the recorded cases across the US, there have been a number of HIV patients seroreverted in the late HIV stage. Like for example patients with negative antibody tests arrived to the hospital in critical conditions with AIDS related complex, never suspecting of having HIV. Thus, I myself dont know what to do. If I myself in the late stage of AIDS according to the symptoms, what should I do? Do I have to see HIV specialist and have that Viral Load Test along with cd4 count and possibly some advanced tests to detect antibodies? Should I just go to the hospital and ask MD., for a medical check? What kind of check would it be? Im afraid that my symptoms can be misleading. Have you had anything like that in your practice? Please, Dr. Bob give me an advice since it may be an emergency, and measures needed to be taken.
Response from Dr. Frascino
Your situation is not at all unusual or even all that uncommon. In fact, if you read through the archives, you'll find many similar stories. The details vary a bit from person to person, but the general story is always the same -- someone who is quite convinced they have HIV/AIDS, despite overwhelming and incontrovertible evidence to the contrary.
You are HIV negative. Your negative HIV tests out to seven years are definitive and conclusive. HIV is not your problem. No way. No how. I just can't say it any plainer than that. Late seroreversion is a rare occurrence seen primarily in end-stage AIDS patients who by the time this occurs are deathly ill with multiple opportunistic infections and complete collapse of their immune system. Since you are not on your deathbed, this does not apply to you, OK?
So you have some "symptoms" "looks like I am losing body lean mass . . . stomach became disproportional to body size, looks like it gained more fat, when other limbs lost it" along with other nonspecific complaints, like "loss of appetite, sometimes headaches and general body weakness and sometimes fatigue with unclear vision." You've had your general physician check you out and "regular blood tests" were all "very good." And so you "don't know what to do with these horrible symptoms." Should you see an HIV specialist? No. Should you have viral load, CD4 tests and advanced tests to detect antibodies? No. Should you go to the hospital and ask an MD for a medical check? No. Have I seen anything like this in our practice? Yes, many times. Our experience at the Frascino Medical Group is identical to what you'll read about in the archives. One hundred percent (yes, 100%) of these cases have turned out to be HIV negative.
I can't diagnose the exact cause of your symptoms over the Internet; however, I can, with great certainty, tell you what's not causing them. It's not HIV. Stop chasing a disease you could not possibly have! If a physical cause cannot be found for your symptoms, I strongly urge you to consider getting an evaluation for a psychosomatic cause. You do have a problem (most likely it's psychological), but your problem is definitely not HIV/AIDS, nor is it an "emergency."
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