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An unusual case,need your help
Feb 21, 2004

Dear Doctor, As I mentioned in last mail,my last exposure to HIV is on 8/27/02,and this year in June(after 9 months),my cd4 is 550(very low) and HIV Elisa is still negative,then on 9/30/03(after 13 months)I did HIV ELISA and HIV WB and cd4 test due to continued ARS,the result is ELISA and WB both negative and cd4 count is 650,as if I can rule out HIV,but the fact is I still have serious ARS(sore throat,itch skin rash,fatigue,sometimes low fever,shaking feeling in my leg...).all docs give up helping me to find the cause of my long term ARS,but I am suffering from ARS every day and I DON'T KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH THESE ARS AND DOCS DON'T WANT TO GIVE ME REAL DIGNOSE AND HELP,the past 13 months has been a hell for my life,I am a 24 female Chinese and well educated, now everything is destroyed by HIV and symptoms,I quit my job and what I only want to do is to know whether I have HIV OR NOT.... I had all standard HIV symptoms untill now(13 months),I am wondering if suicide is my only choice in my case???? why I have all HIV symptoms but can't be dignosed by HIV tests? I can't be done HIV PCR and bDNA test in China due to poor medicial. So much sorry for my long boring mail, but I have no other choice,PLEASE,DOCTOR,PLEASE, PLEASE TELL ME WHICH MEDICIAL GROUP CAN HELP ME TO GET CORRECT HIV DIGNOSE??? WHAT ELSE I CAN DO TO SAVE MY LIFE??? I KNOW I HAVE BEEN VERY BORING DUE TO ARS,I ALSO HATE MYSELF,after long time consideration I decide to write to you and hope to get your guide,though I know the hope is so little. Doctor,I only want to know why I have long term ARS but ELISA AND WB can't find HIV cause..... Thanks for your great job and rare time!REALLY need your professional ideas in my case. Kate in China

Response from Dr. Lee

Dear Kate,

It sounds as though you are having a hard time believing that you are not infected with HIV, despite clear evidence that you aren't.(Your negative ELISA, negative WB and normal [550 is not "very low", but NORMAL] CD4 tests.) It may be that you are so focused on HIV as a cause for your symptoms, that you have not really looked at other possible causes. You refer to the symptoms you have experienced as ARS when in fact they are not AIDS related symptoms because you don't have AIDS.

That doesn't mean you don't have other reasons for your symptoms.

I suggest that you go to the doctor and let the doctor guide you for diagnostic tests, etc. rather than telling them you have ARS, or insisting on further HIV tests.

Also, because you have endured so much stress, some of your symptoms may also be related to depression and I recommend that you have an evaluation by a psychiatrist. (Please be clear, I am not saying all your symptoms are "in your head". I am recommending the psychiatrist in addition to further medical evaluation because you are clearly stressed which adds to your difficulties.)

Good luck.


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