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Peripheral Neuropathy question please?

Apr 28, 2011

Dear Dr. Bob,

I am confused. There seems to be a lot of conflicting information on peripheral neuropathy out there. Some say it effects only the feet and hands but never goes above the knees. Others say the entire legs and arms can be affected or that it can be symmetrical or asymmetrical etc etc etc.

I am freaking out because I have had constant numbness for the past 2 months that began in my feet one day after doing some exercise that moved up to the knees, then up the thigh in the left leg. My left arm up to the elbow also became numb. However my upper right leg and right arm remain unaffected!

The numbness remains in my left leg but has disappeared from my feet and left arm.. It is driving me crazy and I don't know what to think!!!

Does this sound like HIV neuropathy to you?? I am sorry but I have no one to talk to about my fears. My family doesn't want to hear anything about it and neither does my partner. I have no support.

I am finally getting tested next week after living in fear for 8 years. Yes, 8 years. I know, shame on me for allowing fear to dictate my life for so long :( I just wish I had someone who could've helped me deal with this sooner. It makes me angry that stigma still seems to scare so many people away from testing...

Please help. Thank you for all you do and I wish you continued good health.

~lonely and scared~

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Lonely and Scared,

The symptoms you describe are not consistent with HIV-associated peripheral neuropathy (PN). I'll repost below a link to the archives that discusses PN.

I'm delighted to hear you will be getting HIV tested next week. As the saying goes, better late than never.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

Peripheral Neuropathy

HIV testing
current guideline on window period

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