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Complex ITP question and being HIV negative.
Nov 25, 2009

Dear Dr. Frascino, Well over 20 years ago, I was diagnosed with ITP. My treating hematologist initially thought it to be an HIV induced ITP. I repeatedly tested negative on the ELISA. Months later, my spleen was removed. Ever since my platelet count is normal.

Fast forward to the present. I have been in a completely closed monogamous relationship for about 19 years with current partner who is also HIV-.

Around the year of 2003, for whatever reason, I developed serve panic disorder. After speaking to several psychologists, they seem the think it was a repression of emotions dealing with a potential HIV exposure. I stared getting tested almost monthly without my partner knowing. Somthing simply would "trigger" the panic disorder. My last HIV test was in November of 2003. I even had and HIV type 2 test preformed.

Is it possible to actually have HIV and not test positive for all these years. I know the HIV test look for the antibodies but are there known cases of someone carrying HIV and not producing antibodies? I realize this must seem like a "far out" question. I do not why after all these years, I am still trying to analyze my ITP.

Thank you so very much for your time and patience in reading my question.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

There is nothing "complex" about your question!

"Is it possible to actually have HIV and not test positive for all these years?" No, absolutely not. Your multiple negative HIV tests over the past two decades are convulsive, definitive, extremely excessive and absolutely WOO-HOO-able.

"I do not know why after all these years, I am still trying to analyze my IPT." I would assume it's related to your hematologist, who, 20 years ago, thought your ITP was related to an HIV infection. His impression was obviously wrong, but it appears to have scared the bejesus out of you. HIV is not your problem. No way. No how. No further HIV testing is warranted. Even though HIV is not your problem, you do have a significant medical problem: irrational fear of HIV. I would strongly advise you see a psychiatrist (rather than a psychologist) to help you confront and conquer your completely unwarranted and totally irrational fears about HIV. Please note, the vast majority of cases of ITP have absolutely nothing to do with HIV. This includes your case!

Bring a copy of your question and my response to your first visit with the psychiatrist and show it to him: It will help focus your treatment and speed your recovery.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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