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HIV? resubmitted from the Fatigue and Anemia Forum.
Jan 15, 2011

Dr Robert, Tanks very much for your reply and help to refer my question to Dr Bob under this forum. i was suspected of exposing to HIV in Jan last year. i got almost all HIV related symptoms around 4 weeks later which including lipodystrophy that makes me suffering a lot even now. i did 2 HIV antibody tests 6 and 12 moths later respectively, the results were all negative. 1 PCR DNA test (6 months later) was also "undetectable". but i have since suffered extreme tiredness especially the symptoms of lipodystrophy with which whatever i do exercise my muscle and fat failed to coming back. on the contrary, my arms and legs become more skinny while the fat on my neck and belly continue to accumulating. i did CD4 count test a few days ago after i insisted to my doctor. the result is CD4: 24%, 350 cells/mm3. CD8 27%, 390 cells/mm3. CD4/CD8 ratio is 0.89. CD16/56 NK cells 30% 430 cells/mm3. so i want to know if i 'm a HIV+ now although my antibody test has been negative. 3 reasons i don't believe i'm a HIV- because 1. the symptoms of lipodysrophy is an indicator of HIV infection under my understanding. 2 some people in the world don't produce or produce very low amount of antibody so that their result is always negative. 3 my inverted CD4/CD8 ratio which is also the indicator of HIV infection. please help me and i look forward your reply! thanks very much! Richard

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Richard,

1. Your negative HIV-antibody tests out to 12 months are definitive and conclusive. HIV is not your problem.

2. This is a moot point, because you also had an undetectable HIV PCR DNA. This test does not rely on antibodies, but rather searches for a piece of the virus's genetic material.

3. I agree with your doctor: you should never have gotten a CD4 and CD8 count test. There was no clinical indication to do so. I cannot advise you what is causing the mildly suppressed counts, but I can with great confidence tell you what's not causing it: it's not HIV! No way. No how.

My advice is that you stop worrying about a disease you could not possibly have. Follow up with a good general internal medicine physician for any persistent symptoms you may be experiencing.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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