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bob, bob, bo bob, banana fanna fo fob.
Feb 11, 2008

Hey Dr. Bob, I'm a 30 year old woman who had sex with a man - protected and unprotected. Begining about 10 days after and For the past eight months now, I've had night sweats, absolute exhaustion, a rash on my back that comes and goes and lymph nodes that are visable beneath the skin and very painful in my chest/collar area, and in the creases where my legs and pelvis meet, and in the nooks of my elbows. The pain in the nodes went away for two weeks and then returned. I also have a low grade temperature that comes and goes, and a lot of joint pain. I've had a rapid blood test at 4 months and a DNA PCR at almost 6 months, both negative, and a week later another rapid test. Negative.

My GP is sending me to a rheumatologist, but before we go exploring other means, I want your opinion, do you think that we've ruled out HIV infection even though my symptoms are persistent and getting worse each day? I'd like to not ever have to test for HIV again, but if I don't want to ignore it if it's something that there is even a remote chance of having. I know you're phrase is "definitive and conclusive" after 3 months typically, but I do have an autoimmune illnes on top of using prednisone for several months... anything stand out that is fishy?

GO OBAMA BAMA MO MOMMA... I'm a teacher, and everything is a song :) Thanks.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

No doubt you've got something going on, but one thing is certain: It's not HIV! Even with an autoimmune illness and use of corticosteroids, both of which may suppress or alter specific antibody response, thereby affecting HIV-antibody tests, your HIV tests are still definitive and conclusive. Not only do you have the repeatedly negative rapid tests out to six months from the time of your last exposure; you also have a DNA PCR undetectable at six months. The DAN PCR does not involve antibodies and therefore would not be affected by autoimmune disease or use of corticosteroids. HIV is not your problem. No way. No how. I concur with the recommendation to consult a rheumatologist as your next move.

Good luck and GO-BAMA GO!

Dr. Bob



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