South Africa asking for help...please... (inkow you're busy but I'd really appreciate a response..I'm so close to the edge its scaring me...:(
Jun 4, 2011
Thank you for the amazing work that you and your colleagues are doing. I would really appreciate a response as I am fighting my way through this period of my life and am looking for answers but none seem to be coming.My anxiety and worry over HIV infection has resurfaced to the point where I got tested earlier in May- my life is somewhat passing me by and I've no clue what to tell my spouse about what I am going through...
A brief history: I had 6/7 potential exposures between 2003-2006- no sex, all protected oral (recieving) and mutual masturbation (one or two with some exposure to vaginal fluids). I did not test subsequent to these episodes as the risk was low and I was certain I had taken extra precautions.
In late 2010 I started feeling extremely fatigued and weakness in my muscles with generalised parathesia in my feet and arms. My bloods drawn in dec 2010 showed elevated neutrophils but otherwise normal urea etc. In Feb 2011, the parathesia came back and I went to a doc again and once again, the neutrophils were high- it subsided but started again in May and again, this time higher neutrophils, nonreactive ANF, a subsequent clear MRI and normal nerve conduction study (I thought it was PN). Needless to say, I was confused as anything and finally mustered the courage to go for a test- it was a fourth generation elisa (which I was told, tests for HIV-1&HIV-2) and the result was non-reactive.
What is disconcerting are my results over the last five months read together with my continious Gastro problems (persistent, mucousal IBS), breathing problems (well aware that a pack a day habit does not help and am taking steps to quit), inflammation in parts of my body, continous parathesia even after resting my leg for 5 minutes etc,wierd weight re-distribution since last six months of 2010, persistent staph infections and just general malaise and weakness in muscles even after doing seemingly mundane things like carrying my wifes bag etc....
Apologies for the rant, the crisp questions dear doc, is this:
(a)could my body have stopped producing anti-bodies some seven/eight years post exposure (ie: is my immune system so damaged now that one of the aforementioned issues is pointing to an opportunistic infection and well, they do say the mean time for progression to AIDs is 8-10 years...?)
b) put another way, I've read that at some point towards the progression to AIDS, the antibodies dissappear from the detectable radar- is this true? and at what point does that happen? ie:how sick would I have to be for that to be the case...
c) is my negative elisa 4th gen 5-8 years post possible conclusive or is a pcr indicated?
Please please help me put this into perspective doc...
Thank you so so much and a donation is making its way to your foundation from a post world cup SA :)
Response from Dr. Frascino
A. No. If you had immune damage to the point you could not make specific anti-HIV antibodies, you would have end-stage AIDS and be deathly ill. (Literally at death's door!) You wouldn't be writing to me.
B. See information above.
C. Your repeatedly negative HIV-antibody tests out 5-8 years are indeed conclusive, definitive and WOO-HOO-able. HIV is not your problem. No way. No how. No additional HIV tests are warranted, including PCR testing.
RM, whatever is causing your symptoms, one thing is absolutely certain: It's not HIV! The evidence is overwhelming and irrefutable. If your physician and perhaps a second-opinion physician cannot identify a physical cause for your symptoms, you should be evaluated for psychosomatic disease. This can cause very real symptoms! For example anxiety can cause paresthesias and depression is often associated with malaise and fatigue.
Thanks for your support of The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org). It's warmly appreciated.
Good luck! Feel better!
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