negative but still sick, please answer Dr. Bob


Dr. Bob,

Firts I want to thank you and all the others for the information and support you offer to millions of people who are living without being aware of hiv/aids. I have been reading all the postings on your web site for the past 6 weeks. I appologies for the lenght of my posting but I don't know how to make my story short. Secondly, I agree totally with the message posted on Oct 5 from "the guy with new outlook to life"...called negative but no wohooo...I cried when I read his message....even if some people wake up from this nightmare there are millions of others who live with it...And third, here is my story...It started in August when I got an yeast infection treated first with monistat and then with fluconazole 1 pil 150mg. Next day after taking fluconazole I had fever and a couple of days after my tongue start burning and was white coated....I paniked and start reading about coated tongue and thrush...I've seen how much was conneceted with hiv I drove myself crazy reading about all the medical conditions and opportunistic infections, etc...then I start thinking about my sexual history and realized I had unprotected vaginal sex with a man, one time in Feb 03, one time in March 03 and last time in May 03. I was tested negative at 5 month (21 weeks) after the may 03 exposure and I was negative. It was an Elisa test. So, I start thinking that maybe the 5 month test was not reliable enough and now 15 month later I am either seroconverting or I seroconverted and these are the signs of hiv. Here are a few of the sympltoms I had in the last month: coated burning tongue (took a swab test from the tongue and found no candida), flu-like symptoms, ithching, night sweats 2 weeks, low-grade fever, sleep problems, tightness in the soulders, back and back of the neck, burning of the back of my neck and back, crawling skin, bowel movements (still have diareea in the morning), vomiting 2 days, red spots coming and going within a few minutes, burning nose, tingling face, itchy forehead, dizziness, fast heart beat (whent to the ER for that, but the EKG and chest x-ray came out fine...just my blood pressure was too high 158...for 2 weeks), coughing, tingling & numbness in the right arm (I had the IV in that hand at the ER), high anxiety and depression, a constant feeling of burning and poisoning or someting toxic coming out of me...I was not feeling confortable in my own skin:), anyway, after 4 weeks of reading an average of 4 hours a day about hiv and all the related problems, I finally decided to go see my docor and test myself...(I forgot to mention that I had no other possible hiv exposure since that May 03). the test come back negative (Elisa). I felt better...My doctor tells me that she does not know from where to start with me because my symptoms are "too bizare"...she did a blood count and another test to see if I have some infection of the blood. She told me that all my results are fine...whatever that means... I feel much better after I took the hiv test but I am still sick...My ears ring almost all day, stiff and burning neck and forehead, and cheeks, pressure on my head, muscle pain, burning nose, abdominal pain especially on the left side, 2 days ago burning of the anus and develpoed hemorroids, fever coming and going, trembling hands, diareea, symptoms like flu...again all these things are coming and going...there are not 2 days the same..every day I am experiencing sometng when I am writing my left hand is tingling and becomeing numb, muscle pain...I was prescribed allergy medicine and Xanax....for 3 weeks doctor continue to tell me that is noting wrong with me but I know she is not right...I'm 35 years old,I was healthy so far, I never do drugs or drink...only tongue looks better now but still not completely clean, have chelitis, anyway..the only concern is the fever...I know it has to be related to some king of infection, either is fungal, staphiloccocal, viral, etc..I don't know...but my symptoms can be of, CMV, MOnonucleosis? 2 days ago a had a little rash on my belly ..again dissapeared in 15 min....I know how hard it would be for you to diagnose me, but I rely on your oppinion/advice...sometime I see little dots with my left is possible that I distroyd my stomacal flora from that fluconazole....Anyway, whatever it is is very serious...It's the second time I have bruises which are not doe to injury...they do not, you see...I'm a mess, tired and depressed...Do you think I could still not seroconvert and this are ARS symptoms...? or symptoms of hiv or maybe even you think I tested negative now because I am in window 15 month ago? Again, I am sorry for the lenght of my message and my poor English.. (i'm in the States only for 2 years...I'm from Europe)...Many thanks and keep up the good work...Your web site helped my tremendously,,,,I'l make a donation to your foundation right away...

take care of your...millions of people need you...



You are correct I cannot diagnose your condition over the Internet. However, I can with great certainty tell you what's not causing your symptoms. It's NOT HIV. Your repeatedly negative HIV tests out to 15 months are conclusive and definitive. HIV is not your problem.

From what you've written, it appears that a physical cause has not been found for many of your symptoms coated tongue, but no Candida on swab test; dizziness and rapid heartbeat, but normal EKG and chest x-ray; worries about fever and infection, but "all my blood results are fine," etc. You also report "high anxiety and depression." Anxiety and depression are medical conditions in and of themselves and are associated with a wide array of symptoms, many of which coincide with your complaints.

If a physical cause for your symptoms can not be found, you and your doctor should consider a psychological cause. It seems that the symptoms you now have developed over the past month, while you were reading about conditions linked to HIV infection. Your HIV tests are conclusively negative and yet you remain focused on this illness. Why? I would strongly suggest you ask your doctor for a referral to a psychiatrist to discuss these irrational fears. Bring a copy of this question and my response to your first visit and show it to the psychiatrist. It will help focus your treatment and speed up your recovery.

Thank you for your donation! It's warmly appreciated. If you follow my advice, I'm quite convinced you'll soon be feeling well.

Good luck!

Dr. Bob