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Approaching 10 years!
Aug 27, 2001

Dear Ryan,

My story: Almost ten years ago, I had a "high risk" encounter in South America, with condom failure. Within a month, I experienced seroconversion symptoms. I've tested negative for HIV-1 and 2 (EIA) about a dozen times over the years, most recently about 6 months ago. At the eight year point, I had a CD4 level of over a 1000. Most recently, I had a Chiron bDNA viral load test, which refelcted < 50. The problem is that during annual physicals my CBC reflects a declining lymph #(i.e, 2.4, 1.8, 1.5, and 1.3), but is still within normal range (0.7-5.2). My total WBC is in within range 7.5-9.2, and all other values are normal. Over the past several months I've been experiencing a constant sore throat. I've seen a ENT which believes it is "Reflux," but the meds don't seem to help. Does your patients usually experience something like this before the ten year point. I'm familiar with the 6 month window, but this has me at my ropes end. Am I approaching the ten year window for an OI or full blown AIDS? What do you think...should I be concerned about type O even though most tests pick it up 80 of the time? My god will this nightmare ever end? I really need your advise and help....please!

Response from Mr. Kull

Testing HIV negative over a dozen times , with one or more of them being outside of the window period, is evidence enough that you are not infected with HIV. You are not approaching the ten year window for an OI or full-blown AIDS. It does, however, sound like you are very anxious and HIV has become the focus of your anxiety.

You are not infected with HIV, yet you are still very anxious about HIV. I really encourage you to talk with someone qualified in assessing anxiety and anxiety disorders (a psychiatrist is most qualified). Doing that might help end, or at least ease, the nightmare you are experiencing. Check out the National Institute of Mental Health's page on anxiety (http://www.nimh.nih.gov/anxiety/anxietymenu.cfm). See if any of the information sounds like something you can identify with.

RMK



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