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Blessings from Ireland, and.....
Sep 14, 2010

Hi dr. Bob,

If I'd have know you were in Dublin, I would surely have wanted to meet you, and buy you a drink. I hope you enjoyed your travels on these islands. Dublin is a fun city, but the best thing about Ireland is the countryside. It is so beautiful. I do hope you got to see some of it. Especially the west of Ireland, with it's mountains, beaches, cascading waterfalls, abundance of rainbows, and of course the devious little leprechauns.

Thanks so very much for replying to me (To be or not to be),I am so happy to have heard from you.

All of the tests I have had were beyond the six month period.

Here's the thing: I had always been healthy, not even a cold, until last January. And then suddenly, just after the high risk exposure, I get a 'seroconversion type experience' followed by so many symptoms, and the symptoms I have are classical hiv symptoms: weight loss, dry cough, chills, uti and gyn infections,fevers, swollen sometimes painful glands, and drenching night sweats. I mean, to me, it is obvious that I have hiv. Even my hair is falling out. It is all too much of a coincidence. I know my body so well, after five decades of living in it.

As for the doctor fudging my results, would a doctor do that if he thought that the patient was not mentally capable of dealing with the diagnosis? (He referred me to a physchologist!!!).

And further, I feel different in myself, the weight loss was powerful, and took away all the extra padding I had on my legs, hips, bum, and arms, for five months it was relentless. I was vegetarian, but since I began reading your forum, I started to eat meat, protein, and the weight loss stopped, the weight is now going back on my belly!!! In other words, I learned from your forum, to eat meat and protein (advice for people with hiv!!!) and it worked. Although I still haven't put the weight back on my legs,or arms. I feel so weak, and have lost a lot of confidence in myself, and am depressed.

I am sure that I am infected with hiv. I can feel it in my body. The thing is I have a liver complaint (I was a social drinker due to my job/not because I am Irish!) and have some liver damage - so if it was hiv I would have a terrible problem with the medications. And probably be unable to tolerate them.

Are there any other tests you could recommend that I could have done? To double check for hiv? (the ones I had were: ag/ab abbot architect serum (three of those), at the Virus Referencing Library; a home Determine Combo ag/ab blood test; a urine test (ordered on the internet) which ehecked for ag/ab.

Finally, if you just take my symptoms, and what I have told you about: the timing, the way I am feeling, and the weight loss etc., don't you think that perhaps the tests are wrong? And my CD4 Count is only 540!

Dear dr. Bobby, I thank you again for your advice, even though you didn't give me one of your much coveted, and fabulous WHOOHOOS, (which I would frame,and put on the wall if I were lucky enough to get)or put me in with the 'Positive I'm Positive' crowd. It is so good to have heard from you. And I hope you will reply just this once more, I promise not to keep on bothering you.

Like I said in one of my other mails, I wish I lived in close proximity to you, and that you were my doctor. It would be such a relief to me.

Take care of yourself dr. Feelgood.

And thank you, many blessings upon you,

Yours sincerely,

Chintzia.

A Crazy Who Believes She is Infected, or Not? (Submitted Sep 11, 2010)

Hi Dr. Franscino, I am not going over everything again. I just want to know your opinion, what do you think of my story? High risk exposure, followed by seroconversion symptoms, followed by hiv symptoms? And the fact that I did not relate any of it to hiv until four months ago. And finally the fact that I have tested negative? Yet I am positive, that I am positive. Help please dr. Bobbino? I am frantic, and dont know what to do. The labs are saying one thing, but my body and intuition are saying something completly different. The test I had was ag/ab abbot architect/serum. That is all that is available here. The timing, just after the high risk, is just too suss, this cannot be a coincidence. I am waiting to hear from you. Desperately. Chintzia.

Thank You.a (Submitted Sep 8, 2010)

dear dr. frascino, i wish to apologise to you, for having written so many mails to you. I really am sorry for doing so. It is just that, in my situation, hearing you expert opinion, on my sitatioin, would be invaluable. The doctor I am seeing here in Dublin, is quite an expert in the field of hiv, but sadly, I have lost faith in him. It would really help me to hear what you think,in particular about the symptoms which I have, and the whole history of their evolution. Do you think that they are hiv symptoms? As you know, I do. The doctor has told me to go to a physchologist. To me it is so obvious what is causing the symptoms.

Moving on, I only wish that I had discovered the Body websie before all this happened. It would have been a great education for me. Had I discovered it before I made the blunder, I would never had done so. I would have known better. If only I had known then, what I know now, and what I have learned, from your website. Also, thank you, because I have been focused so much on hiv the last six months, and reading this site like mad, and have come to like reading your replies; you are so helpful, humourous, and patient, with so many of us, even though you have your own issues to deal with. I appreciate that. I live in hope of hearing from you.

With warm regards,

Chintzia.

NO WHOOHOOS FOR ME? (I AM DONATING). HELP ME PLEAZE!. (Submitted Sep 7, 2010)

Dear dr. Frascino, (I wish u were my doctor)

Welcome back from ur holiays. I hope you had a well deserved rest and heaps of fun.

I have written you numerous mails. Please answer me this time. Your freindly face,and your happy, go-lucky attitude to helping people, has given me so much pleasure, and hope, while reading the many postings. Please answer me. It would make me so happy to hear from you. And your thoughts...even if they confirm my worst fears.

I keep testing negaive. But the symtpoms I am experiencing overwhelmingly lean towards positive.

I'll be brief. I am a 52 yr old woman. I had an unprotected encounter November 09, with someone who I found out is HIV positive.

In January 10, I got a stubborn mouth ulcer,which would not heal, excruiating bone pain in my hips and legs, nausea, and fatigue.

That was followed almost straight away by: loose bowles, swollen lymph glands, rash on the shoulders, and slowly as the months have progressed: weight loss (15kgs); dry cough; urine infections constantly, vaginal burning, thrush (feeling sticky on hands, nails, under arms, lips..); bleeding gums; slow healing wounds etc., etc., etc. And to add insult to injury, I now have developed sebboric dermatitis, and have cradel cap!!!

Now here is the weird part. I have been tested, after the six month period, all tests negative!!! I am so positive that I am positive, that I called my doctor a liar, and accussed him of fudging my test results. I really feel he is playing mind games with me. I know my body, I have lived in it for five decades! The doctor did a CD4 test, and my CD4 was only 540!!! He said that was normal. And does not mean I am infected.

Firstly, dr. Frascino, do the symptoms I have described sound like hiv symtpoms to you? Be brutal, and give it to me straight please.

Secondly, my doctor, has told me to see a physchologist. He says the symptoms are physcological. How could they be? I had the encounter in November, and had a seroconversion type experience in Jan., followed by symptoms. Who is he kidding? HIV did not even cross my mind until May. So I was not worried about HIV. How could they be physchological?

Thirdly, what shall I do? My life is literally falling apart. I live in Dublin, and was only here in transit, en route to continental Europe, to set up a business with my daughter, and then I became sick. I know nobody here, am staying with friends, and just dont know what to do! I was supposed to leave here last April, but was too sick. Maybe this is all some sort of cosmic joke that the universe is playing on me.

You cannot imagine how much your thoughts, and advice would mean to me. I am awaiting your reply. Desperately.

With love, and warm regards, and what I would give for a dr. Robert J. Frascino 'Whoohoo'.

Chintzia.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Chinzia,

I collected just a small sampling of the numerous questions you've been sending my way over recent weeks. Taking all this information into consideration, my assessment is:

1. You are definitively and conclusively HIV negative. HIV is not your problem. No way. No how. No additional HIV testing is warranted. Here is the WOO-HOO you've been waiting for: WOOOOO-HOOOOO!

2. You definitely qualify for inclusion in the "I'm positive I'm positive" fluffernutter category.

3. I absolutely agree with your doctor. You should seek psychotherapy to help you cope with your irrational fears of being HIV infected and also to help you accept the truly wonderful news that you are definitively HIV negative. I'd recommend you print a copy of these posts and my response to share with your psychiatrist or psychologist. It will help focus your therapy and speed your recovery.

As for Ireland, in addition to Dublin, I visited several locations, including Belfast and Waterford. You're correct: the countryside is indeed lovely. By the way, I convinced a few leprechauns to follow me home.

Good luck. I do hope you'll get the psychological help you need without further delay (or inundation of my inbox!).

Dr. Bob

To be, or not to be. Sep 12, 2010

Dear Dr. Bob,

Hi! I have been reading your forum, it is very interesting, and informative, and you are doing a great job. I am sorry. I did not realise that you, yourself are positive. Well done for being so courageous. Go You! I am a 52 year old female. Last November I had stupidly had an unprotected sexual encounter with a HIV positive man (I did not know about his status). Being as naieve as I am, I did not even think, or worry about the possibility of my catching HIV. It suddently dawned on me, in May, this year. In January, I suffered from a stubborn ulcer in my mouth, tiredness, nausea, and excruiating bone pain. I went to my GP, who told me to chill out! Soon after the above symptoms had subsided, I began to experience a whole array of symptoms: weight loss, UTI infections, vaginal infections, a dry cough, a systemic yeast infection, where my skin, and nails, have become sticky, slow healing wounds, bleeding gums. All of this began in Jaunary, and has become progressivly worse since then. I have now lost 15% of my body weight. I weighed a healthy 75kgs in January, I am now down to 60kgs. What is going on here? Is it HIV infection? And old one, a new one, or both? I ran two home tests, one of them, the new Determine Combo blood test, and a urine test, both were negative. I have also been to an STI doctor, who ran a test, and said it was negative. But I dont believe it, I am sure that the doctor has fudged my results. Is it possible that I might have some rare type of HIV, or subtype? Or hybrid virus? That cannot be picked up in tests? Are there any documented cases of this? Thanks dr. Bobby! from a very worried: Chinzia. PS: Do you believe that the reason why there is not cure for HIV/AIDS is because it is not in the interests of the pharmaceutical industry to find one? By the way, I live in Dublin, Ireland. Please answer me, because I am going insane with worry, and have been, for the past six months!!!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Chinzia,

Unprotected sex with an HIVer certainly does put you at risk for STDs, including HIV. However, you've now had at least three negative HIV tests. If any of these tests were beyond the six-month mark, you can be certain you are HIV negative. As for a doctor fudging your test results, no, I don't believe that. Why would someone ever even consider doing such a thing. It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Could you have a rare type of HIV or subtype O? No, the chances of this are so remote they become essentially nonexistent. You can read more about rare subtypes and subtype O in the archives. Do I think a cure for HIV/AIDS has not been found because it is not in the interest of the pharmaceutical industry? No, absolutely not. You can review my comments about a cure for HIV in the archives of this forum. We have an entire chapter devoted to that topic. My advice is that if you haven't had an HIV test outside the six-month window period (for significant HIV exposures), you should get one. I'm quite confident it, too, will be negative. That result is conclusive and definitive. For your symptoms, I'd recommend you see a competent general internal medicine physician. A negative HIV-antibody test outside the window period trumps "symptoms" each and every time. Symptoms are notoriously unreliable in predicting who is and is not HIV infected. You may very well have something, but that something is not HIV. By the way, I was in Dublin last week! What a fun city! We should have met up for Guinness at pub! Good luck. Be well.

Dr. Bob



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