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Delayed seroconversion?

Apr 11, 2009

Dr. Bob-

I know HIV can't be diagnosed by symptoms alone. Prior to getting tested though, I wanted to get your opinion on some symptoms i'm experiencing that have me a little freaked out. Let me start the story with some history. The last time I had sex with someone other than my wife was with my ex-girlfriend in Feb 2005. I met my wife in the summer of 2005 and have been in a monogomous relationship ever since. I had an HIV test done in Aug 2005 and the result was negative. My wife gets tested every six months and hers have always been negative (her last test was July 2008). In July 2007, I was tested again and this time it came back indeterminate. I wasn't too concerned since I have only been with my wife and her tests have always been negative. However, about six months ago I started experiencing various strange symptoms: chronic diarrhea, persistant sore throat, persistant swollen glands in my neck, skin rashes, folliculitis, occassional white spots in my throat and fatigue. My wife is also experiencing various symptoms: rash, weight loss, head aches and abnormal menstrual bleeding. I plan on getting another test done but wanted to get your input first. Thank you for your outstanding service. Regardless of my test result, I will be making a donation.

- Matt

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Matt,

You are correct: Symptoms are notoriously unreliable in predicting who is and is not HIV infected. As for your HIV risk, if you've tested HIV negative in August 2005 and indeterminate in July 2007, and have been in a strictly monogamous relationship with your wife who has tested consistently HIV negative every six months, you have absolutely no reason to worry about being HIV infected. Your negative test in August 2005 was six months after your last potential exposure and you've had essentially no other potential exposures since, except for your HIV-negative wife. Hence, I see no cause for concern.

Your symptoms are very nonspecific. I would suggest you follow up with your general internal medicine doctor for any persistent or recurrent problems. I also suggest you stop worrying about a disease you could not possibly have!

Thank you for your donation to the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (

Be well. Stay well.

Dr. Bob

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