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Please Clarify, Ongoing Problems Despite Antibody Neg
Dec 15, 2001

Dear Dr, I realise these are question's that I should ask on the safe sex or mental health forums, but I need the opinion of an expert Dr on this enquiry.My risk was low (mutual masterbation once only).After this episode I experienced a whole myriad of physical symptoms (infact all of them, apart from swollen glands, I was even diagnosed with oral thrush (not caused through medication).But the most worrying aspect is that I developed neuropathy at 6 weeks which is still ongoing at 36 weeks.Please will you answer the following questions. 1/. I have read that in medicine nothing is impossible, do you think or have you ever experienced someone developing neuropathy, through extreme stress and anxiety.(I have experienced numbness across my stomach, legs, extra sensitive patches of skin on legs, and one arm, which resolved but where the numbness was I now experience sensitivity to cold and crawly itchy scratchy feelings.(I visited a neurlogy forum where it stated that stress and anxiety can not damage your nervous system) 2/. Is it possible that hiv could be hiding in my nervous system, and therefore affect the production of antibodies which would result in neg tests. 3/. I had a neg antibody at 12 weeks, and 16 weeks, is that conclusive enough or should I re-test. 4/. In your experience have you ever known someone to experience seroconversion, after 16 weeks. 5/. I had std blood tests and a complete physical at 22 weeks, my Dr said I was in pretty good shape for a 40 year old.My platelets were 240 is this ok. 6/.Is it possible that the mind is so powerfull, as to be able to affect the nervous system, and make nerve ends in the skin as an example over sensitive to stimuli. I would value your opinion on this matter, as my physician told me to stop doing whatever I am doing, that causes these neurological manifestations.I am confused and afraid of these symptoms, I do not want them but they wont go away, and of course hiv keeps popping in to my mind as the cause. p.s. I know I fit the category of worried well, but I genuinely only thought of hiv after I developed symptoms, I have never been unwell before. Thx. Please answer it may help others in a similar situation.

Response from Dr. Henry

It is extremely unlikely that you are HIV+. Another HIV antibody test or HIV RNA level (which will be negative) should put the matter to rest at the 100% confidence level. The brain can cause many of the symptoms you describe if it is overly worried. Counseling might be helpful to you. KH



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