It's All In The Smile!!

Question

Dear Dr.Frascino,

Well, if I am ever lucky enough to have a doctor like your good self I will consider myself one very blessed individual!!

Anyway - my question is simple - would you consider a negative test at 5 months enough (modern testing and all). Having 'self diagnosed' (HA HA HA - my medical knowledge lies on the lesser side of zero) HIV infection following a high white blood count/diarrhea four months after possible exposure. I am trying to smile and be postive about life - and boy do I want to WOOO HOOOO (apologies if this Brit can't WOOO HOOO in the American style) but that annoying little pest called 'doubt' remains in my head. I know I should do the sixth month test - and believe me I will - I guess I am just looking for a little reassurance about the 'pesky' illness - trying to keep the smile in place etc.

Thanks for listening,

Smiling Brit

Answer

Hey Smiling Brit,

A high white blood cell count and diarrhea for months after a possible exposure doesn't suggest HIV to me. How significant was your potential exposure? Considering you refer to it as a "possible exposure," I'm assuming the actual risk may not have even been all that high. Is your 5-month test good enough? Assuming your risk wasn't extremely high, such as receptive unprotected anal intercourse or sharing needles with a known HIV-positive IV drug user, I'd say your chances of being negative are definitely in the WOOHOO category. The Brit version might be Jolly-Good-WOOHOO! If you're still worried, go ahead and get your 6-month test. It will be negative, so I'd suggest you start practicing the "Jolly-Good-WOOHOO" maneuver right away. OK?

Thanks for your kind words. I'll keep smiling if you'll do the same. OK? And remember, no more going out in the rain without your rubbers, so to speak. OK?

Stay well, smiley.

Dr. Bob