sick after 5 years of possible exposure! cd4 & cd8 counts?


Hello Doctor Frascinio,

I need your professional input: 5 years ago I was in a 6 month relationship with a man from Ghana, Africa - it was unprotected the whole time. Towards the end of our relationship i started to get weird symptoms that made me quite ill. i went to go get tested and it came back negative. i asked my partner to go and he refused. i broke the relationship off. i also found out that he was having unprotected sex with alot of women while seeing me. my doctor was quite concerned and tested my cd4 & cd8 counts and this is what they were:

cd4 absolute: 519 cd4 percentage: 47% cd8 absolute: 235 cd8 percentage: 22% cd4/cd8 ratio: 2.12

my doctor kept testing me every 6 months for hiv and it kept coming back negative. the five years that went by i felt generally well just had alot of strange infections (like constant yeast infections) On nov.24/08 (5 years since possible expsoure) i got really sick - cold sweating at night, fever, unexplained weight loss, rashes, diearhha, etc. and still am today. the doctors did another hiv test - neagative again they also did my cd4 & cd8 counts:

cd4 absolute: 651 cd4 percentage: 49% cd8 absolute: 295 cd8 percentage: 22% cd4/cd8 ratio: 2.21

my questions are: -is it possible that i have a different hiv strain that is undectable (from afica possibly?) by canadian testing? -or could i just be a person that tests negative for some reason?? -i'm worried about my cd4/cd8 numbers - they aren't the healthiest?? my cd4 seems pretty low for a hiv 'negative' woman?

i've gotten married recently and i'm very concerned about my husband as well - he is feeling quite unwell too. we have been together for 4 years.

i'm very grateful that i'm able to ask an expert like yourself these questions. i look forward to hearing your response!

from scared

ps i will make a donation as well.



Frascinio?? Who's he?

Responding to your specific questions:

  1. Because your partner was from Ghana, you should be tested for HIV-2 if this has not already been done. HIV-2 is endemic in West Africa.

  2. You would not have "false negative" test results repeatedly. You've been tested every six months!

  1. Your CD4 and CD8 numbers are normal.

Thanks for your donation to the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (

If your HIV-2 is also negative, you should rest assured that whatever is causing your symptoms, one thing would be certain: HIV would not be the cause. If your doctor cannot identify the cause of your ailments, consider getting a second opinion.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob