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RE: Anxiety...Depression or stress
Jul 18, 2010

Hello Doctor I have tested 4 times and every time I got same results(Positive ICMA and negative western blot.) Viral load is negative all the time. 1. Can someone with HIV infection have low grade fever(ranging from 98.6 - 99.5) for 10 months? 2. am I the unfortunate one who has HIV eventhough western blot is negative? 3. if not HIV why do i have symptoms? 4. I did have flu shot right before i had HIV test do you think flu shot can alter HIV test? 5. I feel cold all the time even in summer do you think I have developed sever cold intolerancy? 6.I do have loose stool and loosing weight? Can Anxiety about HIV cause low grade fever, loose stools and weight loss? Please reply back thans!!!!

Anxiety...Depression or stress Jul 10, 2010

Hello doctor..I am still having hard time accepting your assurance. I have had false positive result(Positive ICMA and Negative western blot). I feel like I have been having low grade fever...ever since I got positive screening test..I feel like having loose stools as well and feel little dizzy. I cannot sleep at night either. Its been 10 month....I dont know what to do...Please help

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

You correctly identified your problem in the title of your post: "Anxiety . . . Depression." Your fears are irrational and unwarranted. If you're worried about your previous test results, get a single repeat test. If your antibody test results are confusing or in dispute, get a qualitative HIV DNA PCR. This test is not FDA approved for diagnostic testing; however, it can be helpful in sorting out confusing antibody-test results as the DNA PCR test does not rely on antibodies. Rather, it assays for a piece of the virus's genetic material. I have no doubt your repeat test will confirm your HIV-negative status. If after that you continue to perseverate on an illness you could not possibly have, I would recommend you seek psychotherapy (counseling) to help you confront your irrational and totally unwarranted fears of being HIV infected.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

A reactive (positive) ICMA test combined with a reflex negative Western Blot (WB) test is considered to be a negative HIV-screening test. In essence you've had four negative HIV tests. Assuming these tests were taken outside the window period (defined as the first three months after exposure), HIV is not your problem! No way. No how. Further confirming what we already know are your four undetectable HIV plasma PCR RNA viral load tests! Dude, you just can't get any more negative than that!

There are many potential reasons for a reactive (positive) ICMA. You can review this information in the archives. What's most important is to realize you have overwhelming and irrefutable evidence that you are not HIV infected!

Responding to your specific questions:

1. Yes, HIV-positive folks can have low-grade temperature elevations for a variety of reasons. However, this does not apply to you because you are definitively and conclusively HIV negative, remember?

2. No, of course not. You are just one of many who are freaked out about a test result you don't understand. In addition you seem to harbor intense guilt and fear regarding HIV.

3. There are many potential causes for your very mild, nonspecific symptoms. Certainly anxiety, depression and guilt are contributing.

4. Yes, it can.

5. No, of course not. This symptom is related to anxiety.

6. Yes, anxiety can cause a wide array of symptoms. Peruse the information in the archives of this forum and you'll find many testimonials.

If despite my reassurance you cannot stop perseverating on HIV, I would suggest you seek counseling (psychotherapy) to help you confront and conquer your irrational, unwarranted and HIV-related fears.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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