Question

I was diagnosed HIV+ 1 week ago & have been reading every piece of information I can find about my symptoms (& driving myself insane in the process!!) I've not yet had the results of my viral load & CD4 count but I'm terrified at the prospect! I have a whole load of signs & symptoms but one is bothering most - tingling, pricking,itching & numbness in parts of my hands & feet (not consistently) & I've just read on several sites that this signifies a later stage of HIV. I also get a numbness at the sides of my face/cheeks. Not knowing my blood counts yet I'm worried - can you clarify?

Answer

Please wait for your blood counts before jumping to any conclusions. The type of symptom you describe may be HIV-associated neuropathy, among many other things. if it is indeed neuropathy, it may occur at any stage of HIV disease. The symptoms you describe would not lead me in any way to conclude that you have advanced stage infection. The CD4 count is really the result you need to help decide where you are at and whether or not you would benefit from starting on treatment in the near future. Calm down, and go get your result and start taking charge of your HIV status. The future may be brighter than you think...