Dear Dr. Bob: In 1989, I had a real exposure (occupational), and after two weeks or so developed a rash, cold symptoms, dry cough which hung on for 6 months and hives on the palms of my hands (off and on for 1 year). I was tested yearly (always negative), and Still anxious because of the early symptoms, in 1995 I had a PCR for Hiv-1 and an antibody Hiv-2 test and stopped testing until I had a swollen gland in the neck in 2008 (DNA PCR negative, Cd4/Cd8 ratio 1.8). Now this year in May, I developed peripheral neuropathy both feet and hands, swollen glands under arms and slight edema both arms, dry mouth and difficulty swallowing. My Cd4/Cd8 ratio is 3.17, total Cd 4 is low at 402 (reference range 490-1740), %Cd4 = 57% (ref. 30-61) absolute lymphocytes 709 (ref. 850-3900). My wbc is low 3.2, I was discharged from my hematologist who said no lymphoma but "no idea what you have". I had the Abbott Hiv-1/Hiv-2 done, also negative. He does not agree to additional Hiv testing for rare subtypes. Please respond; in addition to being sick with herpes all over my arm, I am terrified and do not know where to turn for help. My life is miserable. Janie
Is it possible that you are really HIV+ 21 years after exposure and 16 negative/undetectable tests? Nope! Not a chance! HIV is not your problem. No way. No how. No additional HIV testing is warranted. You've had way, way, way too many already! Exactly what part of HIV negative are you having difficulty understanding?
Janie, if your life is "miserable," I suggest you seek the help of a mental health professional (psychologist or psychiatrist) to help you accept the truly wonderful reality that you are not HIV infected! For your ongoing medical problems you should see a good internist (internal medicine physician). Remember, HIV is not your problem, OK?