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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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I need your help
Jul 29, 2007

Dr. Conway, in spite of high risk unprotected vaginal contact with acute symptoms at 6 weeks post exposure[ rash, swollen lymph nodes, high fever], I test negative at 30 months post exposure in spite of oral hairy leukoplakia and now in the last 6 months a Kaposi's lesion has appeared on the lower leg with ankle swelling. I do not doubt HIV but why negative tests? Is this a subtype that cannot be tested?

Response from Dr. Conway

The symptoms you describe as suggesting acute HIV infection are not specific and could be due to a lot of things. As for the lesion of Kaposi's sarcoma, I would believe that this is the correct diagnosis if you have, in fact, undergone a biopsy to prove it. If this is the case, I would repeat the HIV antibody test one more time. If it is negative, I would go on to do a CD4 count to see if the absolute count is low and/or the CD4/CD8 ratio is reversed. I would also do an HIV PCR test to see if the virus can be detected directly. It may be, you know, that you are NOT infected with HIV so please keep an open mind until the diagnosis is formally confirmed.

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