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Deported If Positive
Jul 10, 2009

Hi Dr. Bob,

Thanks for your advice to all concerned. I live and work in a country where foreigners are deported if they test positive. I recently visited another country and intended to get tested there but I chickened out at the hospital. I told the doctor I was having pale stools (which is true) and asked if I could get a liver function test and urine test to check my digestive system. So I had a blood test and urine test and the results suggest no big problem, in the words of the doctor. My question is: do these results suggest I should not be worried about HIV? My possible HIV exposure was 6 months ago and along with pale stools, I have occasional mouth ulcers (the first was 2 weeks after possible HIV exposure) and occasional little painless sores like a blood blister on my gums. My tongue has a white coating on top too.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Sorry bud; getting liver function tests and a urine screen do not give any information about your HIV status. The only way to determine HIV status is to get an HIV-specific test. Now what's this nonsense about "chickening out" when you went to get tested??? It's important to note that what you don't know about HIV can kill you! Delayed diagnosis is one of the leading causes of HIV/AIDS mortality today. Stop being such a Worried Wanda and get tested. There really isn't any other logical or reasonable option.

As for that backward country that deports folks if they test HIV positive, it should be ashamed of itself! Rules like that only fan the flames of this volatile pandemic, because they scare the bejesus out of folks like you who then are too afraid to get tested. This drives HIV infection underground and promotes additional spread of the virus. Rules like these are not only illogical, but are also unconscionable and morally reprehensible. Encourage everyone you know in that country to demand these rules be abolished.

Good luck on your test!

Dr. Bob



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