Feb 24, 2008
Hi Dr. Bob:I am a 32 year old married female. I have been worrying myself sick since October when routine bloodwork showed low lymphocytes (16 in a range of 24 being low normal) slightly low monocytes and slightly high neutrophils as well as a sed rate of 45 and HCT of 31 (Of interest I had a hysterectomy many years ago so I am not menstruating for that to be a cause) I felt fine when I got this bloodwork except for being a little tired. Now let's get down to the history that has me worried...in 2006 my husband had one unprotected sexual intercourse encounter with a girl that I have since found out is very promiscuous. He went and got tested for all STD's a few weeks later when I found out, however, they told him it was pointless to get tested for HIV only 3 weeks after said encounter. Several weeks later, I broke out with an ulcer on one side of my upper buttocks, that one healed and then I broke out on the other side, thought it was a spider bite...NOPE...HERPES.
He never went back and got tested for whatever reason and we moved on. STUPID STUPID STUPID.
So fast forward back to my recent bloodwork, had it repeated in December, a little better, Sed rate was normal, Lymphocytes were almost normal, mono and Neutro were normal, still slightly anemic on Iron, but my internist wanted me to see a hematologist anyway. Now I have an ALT of 50 (range of 0-40), Neutrophils are 77 (range of 40-74) and monocytes low at 1 (range of 4-13)Also this week i had my second herpes outbreak and it was pretty bad, I have had a low grade fever for appx 2 weeks and I have a painful slightly enlarged lymph node in my inguinal area on the left (the side where my herpes outbreak was) and for the past few months my back has been breaking out like crazy and it has NEVER done that and I have a sore throat. The hematologist OR the Internist have not mentioned HIV at all other than asking me if I ever used IV drugs (no) but I can't get this out of my head when I look up my labs and all my symptoms I see is HIV HIV HIV! Yes, I need a test and eventually I will get there when I am in a better frame of mind, but I need some reassurance or stats before I go totally insane. Am I getting inside my own head too much?? Thank you for all that you do!! Donation on the way whether you answer my question or not.
Response from Dr. Frascino
I absolutely agree with your assessment: ". . . I have been worrying myself sick . . . ."!
HIV cannot be diagnosed by looking at blood counts, sed rates or herpes ulcers! You look at your labs and symptoms and see HIV, HIV, HIV! I certainly do not. I don't think you should wait for a "better frame of mind" to get tested. Procrastination will only increase your anxiety. My advice is turn off the computer and go get a rapid HIV test. You'll be WOO-HOOing in as few as 20 minutes. And then you can write back and tell me all about it, OK? So . . . what are you waiting for??? Power down and get going! The rest of your life is waiting for you.
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