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Please help...
Mar 17, 2008

Dr. Frascino,

I sent you a few emails about a year or so ago with no reply, hopefully you can reply to this one.

Approximately 22 months ago I had unprotected sex with a older female (I am in my 30's and her 40's) It was a one night stand. Within the next couple days I had severe pain in hip, groin, buttocks. In about a week or two after the sex I got this sunburn like rash on my chest and upper back. It had a tight burning like sensation. My cheeks also felt "tight" but no rash there. Then my mouth and eyes got severely dry and irritate. I did get thrush, and still have it today. I remember scraping two white curdlike patches off my cheeks and it bled underneath (very painful mouth/tongue). And I got severe eye floater which I still have this day. My mouth still burns every morning when i wake up, then settles during the day. I also got 3 mouth ulcers durning the symptomatic period. For almost a year I had ALL the symptom...lost about 15 lbs in about 2 weeks, severe abdominal pain, loss of appetite, URQ pain, muscle/joint aches, dark urine, multi-colored loose stools, soft swollen glands through out entire body. The two under my chin are the size of marbles. I was a complete mess. After all this I knew I was infected. I know you say symptoms don't mean anything...but mine was textbook. And I still suffer from severe dry eye,thrush, and swollen glands today.

I have test neg for HEP B and C at 6 and 9 months after. Tested negative HIV ELISA at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months post. Doctors ran numerous other tests, but all were normal. They were no help.

What should I do?? I can't take these sympotms anymore. Should I do the PCR/DNA test? WHy haven't I tested positive yet? My life has been a living hell for the past 22 months. PLEASE HELP ME...

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Let me start with your last question first. "Why haven't I tested positive yet?" The answer is quite straightforward. The reason you haven't tested positive yet is you are not HIV positive. A negative FDA-approved HIV-antibody test taken outside the window period trumps any and all "symptoms" each and every time. You've had negative tests at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months! Exactly which part of "HIV negative" are you having difficulty understanding? Should you do a PCR/DNA test? No, of course not! I have no doubt your "life has been a living hell for the past 22 months." You've lived those 22 months convinced you were HIV positive, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. "Symptoms" are not the same thing as disease! Not every headache is a terminal brain tumor! Whatever is causing your array of symptoms, one thing is absolutely certain: It's not HIV! I cannot diagnose the cause of your symptoms over the Internet; however, if multiple doctors have run "numerous tests" and the results are all normal, I strongly urge you to consider psychosomatic illness as the cause of your problems. This can indeed produce very real (and uncomfortable) symptoms! You feel your symptoms are "textbook" for HIV. I, on the other hand, feel your entire case history, presentation, multiple negative tests, certainty about HIV diagnosis despite irrefutable evidence it is not, multiple evaluations with "normal" results and a protracted stay in your self-induced "living hell" is textbook for an HIV-negative worried-well with psychosomatic illness. I strongly urge you to seek psychiatric help for your irrational fears and unwarranted fixation on HIV disease. It's the quickest ticket out of worried-well hell.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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