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faq on jama hiv/aids site

Dec 11, 1996

mr.sowadsky. i just visited jama's web site,on the faq portion the question was what are the three warning signs that someone might be hiv-t,in order they were. 1) seborrheic dermatitis.2)"true"mucopurulent sinusitis.3)bacillary angiomatosis. my question is as follows. lately i have been experienceing eye brow dandruff along both of my eyebrows and just recently i have had eye irritation and bouts of sneezing,when i read this i nearly dropped my mouse on the floor. in the past i have had unprotected oarl sex(my penis in the woman's mouth) you always stress that the symptoms of hiv look like many other medical conditions,am i being overly-concerned or should i worry,thank you.

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Hi. Thank you for your questions.

I took a look at the JAMA website to see what they mentioned. There are numerous warning signs that a person may have HIV (not just three). This is because there are numerous symptoms associated with HIV infection. Their comments were very general in nature, due to obvious space constraints on the website. They did state that SEVERE seborrheic dermatitis and FREQUENT "true" mucopurulent sinusitis can be related to HIV infection. However, keep in mind that these and other medical conditions can ALSO be related to many other medical problems unrelated to HIV. That's why laboratory testing is so critical. A general rule of thumb that we see with HIV is to look for severe, or ongoing symptoms of many types, then do a series of laboratory tests to search for possible causes.

Only a physician can tell you what is causing your symptoms, and I will stress again, that symptoms alone will NOT tell a doctor whether you have HIV or not. Laboratory tests are essential to diagnose most medical problems (HIV related or not). Symptoms only give physicians a clue what the problem may be. Laboratory tests help guide them as to what the problem actually is. Things that may clue a physician in that the person may have HIV are:

1) High risk activities in a patients past.

Sore throat & coughing - sign of seroconversion?
Symptoms at 10 weeks?

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