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Help Please! $100 Donation!
Mar 27, 2009

Hi Doc Robert, I made a big mistake when I was travelling in Asia about 6 months ago. I had unprotected sex with a sex worker. Three days later I became sick with flu-like symptoms. After I came back, my doctor ordered 2 HIV tests for me: HIV-1&2 Abs at 3 months and then again at 6 months. Both tests were negative. But I'm still having a lot of symptoms like fatigue and body pain. My doctor doesn't seem to be able to identify the cause of my symptoms, however, he insists that they are not caused by HIV and has refused to give me further tests. Since I had my exposure in Asia where the dominant subtype is C/E instead of B, I'm especially concerned about the possibility of my contracting some rare subtype that just couldn't be easily detected by the tests in the States. Are my concerns warranted? Are there any special tests that can detect rare subtypes? How can I convince my doctor to give me further tests?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

I absolutely agree with your doctor! Two negative HIV-1 and HIV-2 tests out to six months are definitive and conclusive. HIV is not your problem. No way. No how. No additional HIV tests are warranted. A negative HIV test taken outside the window period trumps symptoms each and every time.

Your concerns about rare subtypes are unwarranted. If you have difficulty accepting the overwhelming and irrefutable evidence that you are HIV negative, counseling may be beneficial in helping you believe the wonderful news that you are HIV negative.

I can't diagnose the cause of your symptoms over the Internet. However, "fatigue and body pain" without obvious physical cause is often related to anxiety, stress and/or depression. One thing is absolutely certain: Whatever is causing your symptoms, it's not HIV. OK?

Thank you for your donation to the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org). It's warmly appreciated. I hope you'll soon accept the great news that you dodged the HIV bullet, yell WOO-HOO and stop worrying.

Be well. Stay well. (Yes, you are indeed well!)

Dr. Bob



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