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HIV Transmission and Education >> Am I Infected?

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latest update
      #31701 - 04/10/02 07:38 PM

I received a phone call two days ago from the hospital for tropical diseases last time I spoke with them they said that I had a slightly raised white blood cell count they were not that specific but said that it could be because of a worm, so they said they had sent my blood to Thailand to have it analysed. Well when I spoke to them two days ago they said that they could not find anything in the blood they sent to Thailand but they did say that I did have a slightly raised eosinophils count so I did some research on the net, and apparently raised eosinophils are usually indicators of a parasitic infection or worms but also they can be related to HIV so I wrote a letter…….

Dear Dr

Firstly I would like to thank you for the time you have spent on me in search of the cause of my symptoms. It appears that after some pretty exhaustive tests that I do not have worms. This leads me to believe that it is necessary to follow up with further investigations as regards to HIV, I am convinced that I have a new strain of the virus which either creates antibodies that are not picked up on the currant ELISA, or I am not producing antibodies.

As regards to my exposure, which accured on 29/01/2001: -

First exposure I had a threesome with two sex workers, which included protected vaginal intercourse but unprotected receptive oral sex after the two girls had performed oral sex on each other. One of the girls said she did not mind if I had unprotected sex with her.

Second exposure was with a sex worker I had protected vaginal intercourse with her but the condom did slip off completely at one point. I also performed oral sex on her.
She was at the end of her menstrual cycle I found out later, she was not bothered if I used a condom or not and she had what I would describe as Karposis Sarcoma over her stomach.

Sorry to be so graphic with the above but I think it is important that you know just how risky my exposure was.

Just as a recap the following is a list of symptoms with duration: -

3 weeks started to lose appetite lost 2 stone appetite came back after 4 months I am now back to my normal weight. (A bit fat!)
4 weeks severe non-stop diareah 4 months
4.5 weeks slight pain in lower legs
5 weeks severe pain in toes & legs especially front/back of knees
5 weeks glands in armpits swollen this continued on and off for the next 8 months.
5 weeks drenching night sweats lasted 2 week. I still sweat today especially soles of feet and palms of hands. Now if I walk for more than 10 minutes sweat pours down my face, also eating sometimes makes me sweat.
Also about this time ear infection felt like something crawling around in my ear! Lasted 2 months.
6 weeks noticed white coating on tongue still present today. Also felt a painful lump on the back of my tongue lasted 3 months
6.5 weeks severe muscle & joint pain had raised to my hips, back, arms and fingers.
Severe pain lasted for 4 months could not walk, as knees were especially bad, I still have pain now although not as bad. I always have pain somewhere every day, which can crop up anywhere but mostly legs, toes, fingers and arms, I have also had lower back pain constantly for the last 3 months
7 weeks prickly burning sore sensation in legs still present today I can only ware tracksuit bottoms, as other trousers are too uncomfortable
8 weeks legs swell up so bad they split open my trousers! Still feel tight today
9 weeks skin starts to peal off my palms lasted 1 month
5 months vomiting after food lasted 2 months
9 months muscle twitching in various places lasting up to 3 weeks at a time better now only happens once in a while also vibating feeling in muscles.

Other miscellaneous symptoms
Floaters black spots and lines in my vision very apparent
Also blurred vision
Herpes 1 and 2 outbreaks much more frequently than before
Shortness of breath

My tests so far: -

6.5 weeks ELISA
3 months ELISA
5 months ELISA
7 months ELISA
8 months HIV viral antigen load
11.5 months ELISA performed in Thailand (test turnaround time 4 hours?)
All negative

Tests I feel I need: -

Western Blot assay for HIV 1 & 2, which can pick up the N subtype, please read info I have enclosed it appears that this subtype does exist in Thailand

bDNA PCR this viral load test picks up non-B clade strains, which I may have

CD4 count (if it’s within normal ranges OK, if not I need to know)

Chest x ray

Possible visible detection by electron microscope

ELISA fine-tuned to react with rare subtypes

Please do not miss intemperate this letter, I am not questioning your ability as a doctor of which I am not but I have been researching my symptoms for more than a year spending many hours a day on the internet. I have not bean reading out of date literature only legitimate reports and consider myself quite well read on this subject.

You may think I have lost the plot. Yes I am seeing a physiatrist who thinks my symptoms are caused by stress, I can assure you this is not the case. Although I can see that without the pain that I feel an onlooker might well think this is all in my head.

Well that’s about it. It did cross my mind that it could be the expense of the tests that are making you reluctant to run them well if that is the case I am willing to pay for everything, I feel time is of the essence because of the duration of my symptoms I am probably going to progress to AIDS relatively quickly and there for will be requiring medication soon. Of course this is not a diagnosis I want and if I had no ongoing disabling symptoms as I have I probably would sooner not know. Please help me, you are my last hope I don’t know where to turn next.

I am now waiting for a phone call I’ll keep in touch.


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Reged: 10/01/01
Posts: 75
Re: latest update new
      #31705 - 04/10/02 08:32 PM

Where did you read that elevated eosinophils are related to hiv infection? See

Also I am curious as to why you would believe that you have a "new strain" of hiv that is not picked up on current tests. If you are going to imagine yourself infected with new, difficult to diagnose pathogens, why pick hiv? Why not new strains of flu, or mono, or anything else? Why not simple allergies?

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Re: latest update new
      #31706 - 04/10/02 08:36 PM

You are a perfect reason why cousins should not have sex with eachother.

To save money since your offering to pay for all the tests, you should stop seeing your shrink, you don't seem to be paying much attention to what they are saying anyway so it won't really matter.

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Reged: 10/26/00
Posts: 2028
Re: latest update new
      #31711 - 04/10/02 10:22 PM

Maybe it's a new worm or a new strain of parasite.

Why is it so easy for you to accept the fact that it is not a worm or parasite because the tests show it isn't, but you can't believe that you don't have HIV because the tests show it isn't?

But then why do I even ask? I already know what you will say when you update us. That once again all the exhastive tests show you don't have HIV, but you KNOW that the tests and the doctors are completely wrong. I would suggest you show that letter to your shrink.

I mean have you really read your letter. What you said to the doctor at the end is classic for a hypochondriac. Don't believe the results, sure that something is missed, demanding tests that are not only unnecessary, but way out of line of what is consider reasonable, wasted over a year of your life researching all this so you can tell the doctor you know more than him. That little part about not doubting his ability doesn't sound too sincere after the balance of the letter.

All this and your risks weren't even high. Discount the first one totally. No one in 20 years has tested positive from receiving oral sex, and the rest of it was protected. Sorry, but it doesn't even count. Your second exposure was not high risk at all. Giving oral sex is considered low risk and the fact that the condom slipped off doesn't send you into a high risk category. Yes some risk, but if you were to have gotten infected it would have showed by 3 months.

I'm sorry but I don't see how you can think anyone is going to take you seriously. Especially when your shrink is right.

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