HIV Positive & symptoms already

Question

Dear Dr Holodniy

I tested positive last week for HIV at a STD Clinic. I have not at this stage had viral load or any other tests done. I think I may have been infected in Thailand back in November 98 and had seroconversion symptoms on Xmas day (what a gift).

My question is that I started to have symptoms by April this year which seems early for the disease to progress compared to what I have been reading.

The Symptoms I have experienced since then are:

  1. Night sweats off and on ( I have had about 10 nights since April) but usually after eating a lot of sugar during the day or believe it or not mushrooms.

2.Upset stomach (no vomiting) with lots of constipation which I have always suffered.

  1. Extreme bloating.

  2. Arthralgia (Or what it seems like) in arms and legs.

  3. Persistent Myalgia in bottom half of legs.

  4. I have strong arthritic feeling under arms but maybe that is my lymphs although when i prod under armpit there is no pain.

  5. Burning pain down the nerves in my legs.

  6. Persistand urination so many times a day with dehydration no matter how much water I take.

  7. Since diet change my energy is good although before it was terrible back in Apr/May.

  8. Ulcers in my mouth every now and then.

Also note before the HIV test I had regular blood tests for everything and my blood counts came back normal etc. I have suffered from genital herpes for 7 years now also.

The nurse who gave me the news had no idea if it could be from HIV because she said it seems too quick. The chances of infection before my Thai encounter are slim so can symptoms of HIV infection other than ARS appear this quick or can these symptoms not really be related to the HIV yet?

I have had such a bad diet over the past 6 years (i am not overweihgt though) that I feel it could be from me been so constipated and the build up off toxins in my colon is what is causing all the problems.

What do you think Doc?

Answer

The symptoms of HIV disease constitute a spectrum of magnitude, duration, and system involvement, and as such are highly variable between people. Although your antibody test was just positive, it is not clear where you are on the spectrum without a CD4 count. In addition, there may be other things going on in addition to HIV infection.

MH