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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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neuropathy question
Feb 13, 2007

Hi Dr. Conway,

Could peripheral neuropathy occur 2 months after HIV infection?

I had an HIV test 36 days after unprotected sex with a girl and it came back negative. I know I have to go back for a 3 month test though. In this waiting period I have developed what feels like peripheral neuropathy. I also had many symptoms of ARS 4 weeks after the encounter which is why I am so concerned. I want to describe how my feet and hands feel and see if it sounds like HIV neuropathy as I cant find any information on this and I read an earlier post from you that stated HIV related neuropathy has a pretty distinctive feeling.

Affects my feet very much and my hands a little bit.

My hands appear very blotchy at times and when I try and carry things, like a bag of groceries, there are lines on my hand that appear where I was carrying the bag after I put it down and they hurt. Its as if there is not proper circulation of blood in my hands. Same thing happens when trying to open a jar of sauce or hands turn red and begin to hurt. They also fall asleep at night somtimes, which is very strange.

My feet always feel very cold and it feels like there is nerve pain on the bottom of my feet when I try to walk. I feel it in both feet but its worse in my right heel, as I walk with a limp now. Also they feel 100 times better when I am in a shower with very warm water.

Does this sounds like HIV related neuropathy?

How could it happen this soon, I havent even tested positive yet?

Thanks for any help you could provide, I think the work you do on this site is great

Response from Dr. Conway

This type of neuropathy is non-specific, but could be consistent with early HIV infection. Neurologic problems associated with the earliest period of HIV infection has been described for over 20 years now. I would probably recommend that additional tests be done to measure the virus directly (rather than antibodies to it) to make sure you do not have acute/pre-seroconversion HIV infection.

On another note, I would also make sure that you get tested for syphilis, as it can present in a similar way (including the rash you describe on your hands).

Too embarassed to ask my dr.

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