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Low white blood cell count. Please help.
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Low white blood cell count. Please help.

Thank you Doc in advance.  This is an AMAZING service you provide.

Here's my story:

I am a 22 year old hetero uncircumcised male.  Had unportected vaginal intercourse with a friend for roughly 10-15 seconds before coming to my senses.  Ran to the bathroom, urinated, and washed off.  Then continued intercourse protected for about 2-3 minutes.  She claimed she was safe and clean but she has a long history.  About 5 days later I start to notice a tingling sensation when urination.  After about 19 days from exposure i was checked for everything.  By looking at my penis he noticed i had a yeast infection.  I was giving cream and in a few days it cleared up.  Knowing i wasn't going to get my results back until the following monday I went the next day to get a rapid HIV test.  Came out negative.  Went to the doctor today for my results and everything was clear except i had a low white blood cell count.  This has my terribly concerned.  Questions:

1)  If my blood test that was taken a day before I received the rapid test does it mean the drop in white blood cells can't be due to HIV infection?

2)  What other things can cause a low white blood cells?  Stress??  I have also been constipated for a few weeks with only soft stools passing in the morning.

3) If the yeast infection was due to early HIV infection then would the rapid test have tuurned out positive?

Please advise.  I am losing sleep and can't control myself.

thank you soo much doctor!

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You need to worry about things that actually have a reasonable chance of harming you, like getting hit by lightning.  The odds you acquired HIV from the exposure you describe are literally less than that.  Almost certainly your partner is not infected (most people don't lie when asked directly); and even if she was, the chance you were infected with such brief exposure is zero or close to it.

You don't say how low your white blood count is, but whatever it is, it cannot be due to an HIV infection.  And innumerable things, generally more common than HIV, cause the same thing.  Most likely you WBC isn't low at all; everybody's white count varies normally, often dropping below the nominally normal levels.  What did your doctor say about it?  (My bet is that s/he reassured you not to worry about it.  If so, that's the advice to follow.)

1) There is no reason to believe your WBC is low because of HIV.

2) Too many things cauyse low WBC to list, but stress is not among them.

3) Even if you had HIV, it would not cause a yeast infection this soon.

Bottom line:  Chill out.  You are badly overreacting.  You do not need HIV testing unless you have some risk for HIV.  You have not described any.

Good luck--  HHH, MD
7 Comments
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You probably got the yeast infection from your partner, which is the main way for a male to get a yeast infection. Yeast infections are very common in a woman, and can be caused by soaps, stress, or many other things. usually someone with HIV won't get yeast infections or other illnesses until later in the infection. The doctor would tell you that a 6 week test is around 99%, at 8 weeks is close to 100%, and it is virtually unheard of for a person to go longer than 3 months to show up on a test.
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Thank you so much for your quick response!  

I don't know the exact number but the count was low enough for him to take more blood.  I see him on Friday.  

Also, let me rephrase my first question as it wasn't all that clear:  If my low WBC count was due to HIV infection would my test show positive?  I have searched this forum high and low and can't find an answer to this.  

Thank you so much for your time!  You will never know how much I appreciate your input!
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Avatar_n_tn
there is no reason for you to be worried for the yeast infection as it is not at all suggestive of ARS .
20 days negative is already almost declaring you free .
for peace of mind u can take another rapid test at 6 week mark.
that should relieve you of all the anxieties.

doc.
would appreciate your insight on following ;
Generally , In case of a recent new hiv infection..i.e. during the acute hiv infection stage , will the WBC count be abnormally low for sure ?
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Avatar_n_tn
I assume by WBC, you are referring to Total Leucocytes count. During normal times, the TLC ranges between 4.0 to 11.0. It comprises of neutrophils,lymphocytes, monocytes and couple of other things.

I am not sure if you are referring to only lymphocytes as WBC. It is often seen in bacteril infections that neutrophils go up and when they go up they cause lymphocytes to go down.

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OK, update.  Called in to get updated blood results.  White blood cell levels are NORMAL!!!  Thank god!  And from what he told me on the phone he made mistake and that they were actually higher than normal.  I went to the doctor today and it turns out i have strep throat which is a logical explaination!!  That also explains some enlarged lymph nodes i was agonizing over.  WOW.  I am starting to convince myself I am OK.  Thank you doctor and EVERYONE who provided your input.  It means alot.

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Avatar_n_tn
good to hear ur anxiety level is coming down . keep it that way.. you will be fine .

it's always a good idea to keep a hard copy of your blood test results with you , whenever you get one done .
the clinic may charge you extra bucks to give you a copy , but it will be a lot more satisfactory for you & you can always keep it as a reference for future .
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