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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Wits end
Jul 9, 2004

Hello Doctor: I have read some of your posts to others and find you to be very knowledgable. I realize my question is better suited for another area of this website, however, I wanted to ask you. I hope you can please help me. I had a possible exposure to HIV on July 2, 2003. Since that time I've experienced various symptoms (ie. night sweats, low grade temperature, fatigue - the list goes on). I have tested for HIV at 6 weeks, 10 weeks, 3 months, 6 months and 9 months - all negative. I also tested for TB, Syphilis, and Hep - again all negative. I continue to have sweating at night, get sick very easily (never got sick before). My doctor ran blood tests and showed my CD4 count as in the normal but low range. No infectious disease doctor in my city will see me (they will only see patients who have tested positive). I don't know what to do? I'm at wits end and am hoping you can help me. It feels as though my immune system has become weakened. After these HIV tests, is HIV still possible? I saw you stated that there are cases of people who never develop antibodies to HIV, how many cases in the USA does this account for? Again, thank you for your help as I need some direction.

Response from Dr. Conway

As long as you have not had any further exposures to HIV, I feel quite confident in saying that you are not infected with HIV. It is important to remember that many chronic medical conditions (especially viral infections) lead to a slightly lowered CD4 count with a well preserved CD4/CD8 ratio. In itself, a lowered CD4 count is therefore not an indication to worry about HIV unless someone has another reason to do so. You do not appear to have such a reason. I hope you and your doctor can fir\gure out what is the issue with you.

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