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On going worry about hiv infection. I need your help
Aug 18, 2011

Hi,

So I had my initial exposure almost exactly a year ago. Since then I have been tested for HIV several times at different weeks/months. All of my test results have come back negative. However I am worried that I am still HIV positive and that I possibly even got HIV from one of the testing sites. For example I went to the AIDS Foundation of Utah to get tested one of the times and the lady didn't take enough blood from my finger prick and I was called back to do it again. This time there was someone else in the room who was being tested by a man. The man helped the lady do it this time and was not wearing any gloves nor did he wash his hands even though he had been testing someone else and just tested me. As he was doing it he laughed in an evil way saying "welcome to the aids foundation" I'm sure he was just trying to be funny and lighten the mood for me having to get my finger pricked twice, but it really freaked me out. To make matters worse the other guy who was being tested put a band aid on me. It has really freaked me out that all these people were touching me while I was bleeding without gloves and I'm afraid I could've been infected this way.

Over the past couple of months I have had many symptoms. Mostly of peripheral neruopathy which I know if associated with HIV. My arms, legs, feet, stomach, face, and back either go numb or fall asleep very easily. I have had burning sensations in my arms, cold water feelings in my legs and arms. I have also had extreme throat pain as well as frequent sore throats and colds. I get headaces behind my ears and I have feelings of dizziness/ vertigo often. Also I have gotten a few cold sores and a wart on my toe in the last month things I have never gotten before. Also I used to be allergic to bug bites when I was little, but have had no problem for years, but I have had 3 bites gotten at different times swell up incredible amounts this summer. I have just a general feeling of tiredness, feeling sore, joint pain and muscle pain. All of these symptoms have just shown up in recent months. These all seem like symptoms of HIV to me and I am absolutely terrified.

Please help me, any response will be helpful. I am so worried.

Thanks,

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello.

Your fears are totally unwarranted. You cannot contract HIV from getting an HIV test, even if a guy with an evil laugh put a Band-Aid on your finger without wearing gloves.

Your symptoms are not worrisome for HIV acute retroviral syndrome (ARS). I should also mention your symptoms are not consistent with peripheral neuropathy either. Rather, most of your symptoms are quite characteristic of anxiety.

Your negative HIV tests out to one year are definitive and conclusive. HIV is not your problem. No way. No how. If my reassurance is not sufficient for you to permanently shake these unwarranted worries, you should consider seeing a licensed mental health professional to help you confront your irrational fears and also to help you accept the really great news of your definitive HIV-negative status!

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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