hiv symptoms?

Question

I have a 21 yr old son who is a IV heroin addict for the past year. He claims he has never shared a needle but has shared a spoon and cotton on several ocassions. Last week he became sick with swollen glands a high fever between 101 and 103 for 7 days and canker and cold sores on his lips and his his mouth and throat the doctor thought he had coxsackie virus but the blood test came back negative. I have read the symptoms of HIV and he seems to have them although from what I have read they usually take years to develop. I am scared to death for him. What are the chances he has aids? What else could it have been? what do you recommend we do. He is in a facility to detox and go through a rehab program as I write this.

Answer

Hello,

I'm glad your son is in a detox program. Even though he never shared a needle, there is still some risk of bloodborne diseases from sharing other drug paraphernalia. Your son needs to be screened for HIV and hepatitis.

His symptoms could be due to any of a number of ailments. I am more concerned by his exposure risk than his current symptoms.

Good luck!

Dr. Bob