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My Dermatologist said I have HIV
Nov 3, 2009

Dear Dr. Bob, thank you for all that you do. The condom broke while having intercourse with a prostitute. I have had 3 negative tests. One non reactive at 30 days post, one undetectable RNA by PCR at 37 days post and one non reactive at 4 months post. I went to my dermatologist and told him all my symptoms which are, skin sensitivity, transient red rash that is flat and does not itch, inflamed gums, nasal polyps, extreme ithching on arms, hives, bilateral bruising, blood shot eyes etc. Everything comes and goes to this day and it has been 7 months however the nasal polyps and inflamed gums have been a daily constant since one month post exposure. My Dermatologist said the first test was too early, the RNA by PCR did not test for hiv 2 and was probably a false negative b/c of complexity and the third test was probably done wrong. He also said that because I have psoriasis and eczema that my immune system is shot and that it would take me much longer to produce antibodies. He told me my symptoms are overwhelming and that I should retest at a different facility. Please, please help me understand if his assumptions are correct. Thank you very much..

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

You do not need additional HIV testing at another facility. Rather, what you need is a more competent dermatologist!

Your negative HIV tests out to four months are definitive and conclusive. I agree with your dermatologist that your 30-day test was too early to be definitive. PCR testing is generally not recommended for routine screening; however, the problem with PCR testing is not "false negatives," but rather "false positive" results. I have no idea what he means by "complexity." His claims that your four-month negative test "was probably done wrong" is preposterous! Also, his statement that having psoriasis and eczema indicates your "immune system is shot" and that it would take you "much longer to produce antibodies" is untrue and demonstrates a shocking lack of understanding of both the immune system and HIV-antibody tests. It's definitely time you fire your dermatologist. I wouldn't trust him to pop a pimple! I would suggest you find a new, more competent dermatologist to evaluate your various skin conditions. You should also consult an ENT physician regarding your nasal polyps.

Good luck. Remember, HIV is not your problem!

Dr. Bob



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