hiv/aids

Question

hello

i had a high risk exposure of hiv 4 years and 5 months ago. About a week or 2 weeks after the exposure i was really fatigued. Then 3-6 months after the exposure i got shingles. the doctor did a blood count and everything came back fine and i naively thought that meant everything was ok. i also had a sinus infection in 2008.

now in 2010 i had bad urine infection that i had to take a weeks course of antibiotics for. then i started to worry about hiv again as i saw a poster that said you can have it and not know you have it.

Then i started getting all the late stage hiv symptoms - loss of appetite, weight loss, white tongue, numbness in hand and arm, diarrhea, night sweats, tiredness, sore throat, hair loss.

i am also worried i have pcp as have a dry cough and back pains.

i went to the doctors today to get tested for hiv as i was worried - they seemed to think i was worrying for nothing but i think my symptoms show otherwise. so they didnt check my lungs for pcp.

i do not get the results for 2 weeks and i am worried that the pcp will progress in this time and it will be too late for treatment. how would they diagnose pcp.

your advice is much appreciated.

Answer

Hello,

Your chances of having PCP are a quantum leap beyond remote. I would suggest you ratchet down the anxiety levels and take things one step at a time.

If you had a "high risk exposure," I agree HIV testing would be warranted. Please note rapid HIV tests are readily available and can provide an accurate result in as few as 20 minutes. Two weeks for a routine HIV-antibody-screening test is quite lengthy. Most labs can process results within a few days at most.

Your list of "all the late stage HIV symptoms" is highly inaccurate.

Wait for your test results or get a rapid test if you want an answer sooner. If you test positive, write back and we'll discuss what comes next, OK?

Good luck.

Dr. Bob