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Persistent HIV symptoms for 2 years

Sep 20, 2013

Hi Shannon,I appreciate what you and your team are doing for the world. I'm from Nigeria, west Africa. I had a protected vaginal sexual encounter with a CSW in Nigeria twice, she provided the condoms. I discovered she is positive after our last encounter on 6th of August, 2011. After a week I experience chills and catarrh for a day, then after a wk again burning sensation( neuropathy) which starts on the abdomen and thigh which subsided after 3wks. The burning sensation came back again after 3 months; starts from the abdomen and spread to my legs and feet which persisted til date. Ever since, I have been experiencing several symptoms which includes: persistent painless swollen lymph nodes in the armpits and under jaw for more than a year now, nausea for 4 days after 9 months after exposure which causes weight loss that I couldn't regain til date, periodic bone and muscle aches and lately persistent headaches, fever, night sweats and feeling of cold around the chest area. I have taken 7 HIV antibody test at 6,9, 13, 17, 18 20, and 22 months: 2 ELISAs and 5 Rapid test, all negative( Non-Reactive). Some of the doctors I hv consulted don't take me serious and I'm really sick. My Questions: 1. I take vasoprin (75mg) a blood antiplatelat for my heart problem, will it affect the accuracy of HIV antibody test, resulting to false negatives? I did all STDs screening, all negative and I also did diabetist test which also normal 2. How can i have all these symptoms i mentioned like: Peripheral neuropathy, persistent swollen node, weight, persistent headaches etc without having HIV? 3. Do you suspect I may be among the few that don't produce detectable HIV antibodies? My last test was ELISA after 22 months after exposure. Please you being an expert in this field and also a patient tell me the very truth about my situation. I may be a patient being neglected. Thank you

Response from Ms. Southall

Hi I'm sorry you have experienced this anxiety for such a long time. With what you have described to me, having protected sex in 2011 and have had test 22 months after this experience come back negative you are HIV free. Testing guidelines are to be tested initially 3 weeks post exposure and then again at 90 days as long as there are no exposures during this time the test results are conclusive. I would continue to follow up with your health care provider as your symptoms are continuing but again with your testing history you are HIV free.

Be well and stay safe, Shannon

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