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15 years on, would the immune system show anything up?
Aug 4, 2008

Hello Dr Bob - I am hoping you can answer this question which has been troubling me for some time...I am very worried that my Mum may have HIV - she has only ever slept with my Dad, who died 5 years ago (of bladder cancer, just for the record) and because of his poor health it was approximately 10 years prior to this that they had last 'had relations'(yuck!)I am concerned because I know he had at least one affair in the early days of their marriage and that he may have passed HIV onto her. She has recently been suffering with inexplicable rashes (HIV symptom?) so her immune system was checked by means of a blood test. She refuses to test for HIV, saying that I'm neurotic and that she hasn't got it. The doctor said her immune system was "functioning perfectly". If she had had HIV for approximately 15 years, would there be some sign of her immune system being impaired? Am I worrying needlessly or should I insist she get a HIV test? I would really appreciate your response. Many, many thanks.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Jumping to the conclusion or assumption your Dad transmitted HIV to your mother 15 years ago, because your dad had an affair in the early days of their marriage, is presumptuous. If indeed your mom has had blood tests that show her immune system is "functioning perfectly," I would certainly agree you are being neurotic. As for your insisting "she get an HIV test," excuse me, but isn't your mother an adult?

It seems to me that your abnormal fixation on HIV may be a problem; your problem. Your fears are irrational. If you continue to perseverate on this issue, perhaps you should consider counseling to explore your unwarranted worries and perhaps some unresolved issues you may have involving your dad's infidelity.

Bottom line: Stop pestering Mom!

Dr. Bob



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