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tested w/# in phonebook, results valid or a scam
Aug 8, 2002

I had unprotected sex in May of 2000 with a man of unknown status. In Sept of 2000, I tested negative at a respected women's clinic. Still worried that I didn't wait long enough after exposure, I tested again through a number in the yellow pages in March of 2001, 10 months after possible exposure. They confidentially sent me to a lab to have blood taken and sent for results, which again came back negative.

However, since the incident, I have had several horrible symptoms that I never did before: frequent thin, painful cuts in the vaginal and anal area; purplish-white blotches on my legs that have been there now for over 6 months, a constant horrible numbness in the side of my head that has persisted for over a year now. I went to the women's clinic regarding these symptoms, and received little help or explanation.

I am fearful that I may be positive and that the test were in error. Even worse, I'm concerned that the number I called in the phone book was a scam. Is it possible that my blood was never tested? How do I find out for sure?

I'm tired of constantly worrying about this. I've had 2 tests since the incident that both came back negative, but I still feel unsure. The symptoms I discussed are overwhelming me with fear. What should I do?

Response from Dr. Sullivan

Assuming the first test was reliable, you have no reason to think you are infected; your symptoms are nonspecific and not indicative of HIV; JLS.


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