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follow-up on dry eyes/dry mouth
Sep 18, 2001

Dr. Pavia,

I came across the dry eyes/dry mouth post which peaked my interest. I have read there is a condition in HIV infected individuals which resembles Sjogren's Syndrome entitled DIFFUSE INFILTRATIVE LYMPHOCYTOSIS. It can occur at any CD4 count and it mirrors the symptoms of Sjogren's: dry eyes and dry mouth. (Here is a link to more information: http://hivinsite.ucsf.edu/InSite.jsp?page=kb-04-01-15#S6X) After reading this I am very concerned since I am a male and it seems as if Sjogrens is a syndrome which mainly affects middle-aged women. However I suffer from severe dry eyes and dry mouth with no arthritis present. It seems as if this description fits me to a tee! I have tested negative at 5 months, yet after reading this information am not sure what to believe. It seems as if dry eyes and dry mouth are very common in HIV infection and can present themselves at any time...please put my mind at ease!

Response from Dr. Pavia

You are correct that patients with HIV can get a Sjogren's like syndrome. it is not, however, common, especially early in disease. However, you seem to be concerned that, even though you have tested repeatedly negative, your dry eyes and dry mouth mean you are really infected.

The answer is that that is incredibly unlikely. Sjogren's like syndrome is a very rare manifestation of HIV. Actually being infected after negative tests at 5 months is incredibly rare. The chance of both of these is incredibly, incredibly low.

That does not mean you should ignore the dry eyes and mouth. Speak with your doctor about it, or perhaps see a rheumatologist. Sometimes people who have had a risky exposure cannot accept negative tests as real, they become obsessed. Get one more test if you must, but move on.

ATP



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