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Guidance
Apr 17, 2008

The reason we come to you is because you dont discriminate. I am having pains all over my body. I have not done any HIV tests recently. My last one I was in the clear. I have not lost weight, no skin ailment etc. But the pains are random but very frequent. Are these shingles. Should I be worried?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Gosh, I was hoping you came to me because you appreciated my science-based advice or devilish smile or wise-ass twisted sense of humor, but oh well, I guess I'll accept the "don't discriminate" reason as well.

Unfortunately even not discriminating can help me answer your question with such sketchy background information! First off your symptoms don't sound like shingles, because shingles (herpes zoster) is characterized by a distinctive rash. (Folks who do get shingles can develop post-herpetic neuralgia, which involves pain, but that's after the rash resolves.) Regarding HIV, the only reason to be worried is if you've had a potential HIV exposure. If you've had a potential exposure, you need to get a rapid HIV test at the three-month mark (or thereafter). Symptoms or no symptoms! Remember, symptoms are unreliable predictors of who is and is not HIV infected! The reason to worry or consider testing is based on potential HIV exposure, not the presence or absence of symptoms.

Finally, if you're not feeling well, see your doctor for an evaluation! There is only so much I can do over the Internet without the benefit of laboratory tests and a physical examination!

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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