HIV symptoms but HIV-negative

Question

Dear Doctor

Almost 4 years ago, I had a heteosexual contact with a peson who I strongly suspect to have beem HIV-psoitive. I have had NO such exposure since then.

Several days later I developed flu-like symptoms: sore throat, night sweats and enlarged glands under the armpits.

I underwent HIV antibody testing at my local clinic within 2 months and again after 6 months. Result: HIV-negative.

However I continued to have a severe pharngytis all this time and soon developed mouth ulcers which did not respond to treatment. After about I year I developed persistent sweating and was continually tired. I repeated the antibody tests and the result was still negative.

In 1997, 2 years following expsoure I was admitted to hospital with viral meningitis (which gradually went away) and I developed severe diarrhea and began to suffer from a neuropathy -timgling in hands, legs and feet. Again I underwent tests with the same result: HIV-negative.

As you can immagine my daily symptoms of: severe diarrhea, persistent pharnygitis and mouth ulcers, chronic fatigue, terrible sweating, and neuropathy, have made my life hell.

I re-tested several months ago with the same result HIV-negative. This has afailed to convince me one bit - especially after reading the recent story of the man who was diagnosed after 4 years of being apparently HIV-negative.

Can you help?

John

Answer

Although your symptoms are perplexing, given the long standing negative HIV tests, I don't believe you have HIV infection. You did not say what other work up or tests you have also had. If you haven't already, I would consult an infectious disease specialist. MH