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Avatar universal

HIV test result negative BUT...

I had some high risk in my past bout 9 or 10 yrs ago (was with someone for 2 yrs that participated in high risk behavior of all kinds) So two years ago I took the Oraquick oral test got negative result. I moved on with my life thinking I was negative. Over the past year I've been ill alot, have constant mouth lesions, night sweats etc. Finally went to dr who ordered routine labs. My lymph % was only 11.8 and my lymph # was only 0.41!!! Not to mention I have a UTI caused by K pneumoniae!!!! And I have some sort of weird sores on my face that ooze blood.

Dr I'm really freaked out. To me all these things lead to HIV. I've had no risk since my test and was well outside the window period (by years!) If I am HIV positive would mean I've been infected for going on 10 years and now my health is deteriating... I'm scared!

Questions: are my lymph counts cause for concern? Does k pneumoniae mean my immune system is compromised? Would you feel confident in the oral fluid test? And... What should I do?

The doctor who order the tests is on vacay!! I got my results by signing for them then did research ... Now I'm crying and nauseated... Please help
8 Responses
239123 tn?1267651214
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Welcome to the forum.  I'll try to help.

In judging whether or not someone has HIV, the standard HIV lab tests are far more reliable than exposure history, symptoms, other laboratory results, or any other factor, as long as testing is done sufficiently long after the last possible exposure -- and of course several years is penty of time.  With extremely rare exceptions (so rare I have never seen or heard of a case), a negative HIV test result overrules all other considerations and proves that HIV infection is not present.

However, on the community forum, but not here, you indicate you are sexually active with your husband.  You can judge, and I cannot, whether he might have been sexually active with other partners, or have other HIV risks, since your mutually negative tests 2 years ago.  But even with no apparent risks, I'm sure you are right that your doctor will want you to be HIV tested.  In the meantime, you should consider discussing this -- in a sensative and caring manner -- with your husband.  If neither of you has had other partners or otherwise been at risk for HIV since your negative tests, you can expect any new HIV testing to also be negative.

As for your symptoms and lab test results, HIV is not the only cause of low lymphocyte counts, or the most common one.  Night sweats usually are significant only if accompanied by fever; night sweats due to infection (with HIV or anything else) are due to fever breaking during the night.  And bacterial UTIs, caused by Klebsiella or any other bacteria, are not significantly more common in people with or without HIV infection.  As for your facial and oral sores, I can't say much -- but these too are not usual HIV symptoms.

As for other possible causes, we generally don't speculate about non-HIV/AIDS issues and symptoms.  There are just too many possibilities, many of which are outside my and Dr. Hook's expertise.  However, do let me know a few things about you, such as age, race/ethnicity, country of origin if not the US, and whether you have traveled in exotic or unusual places.

So follow your doctor's advice, including HIV testing if s/he recommends it.  However, if s/he will be away more than a few days, you should speak with the office about an alternate doctor you can see right away.  Your UTI should be treated promptly -- and given your anxieties, it would be a kindness to start necessary additional testing, including HIV testing, without having to wait.

Let me know if you have any other questions, and please return with a follow-up comment after you have been evaluated further and let me know how things turn out.

Best wishes--  HHH, MD
Avatar universal
Thank you for the prompt response! Ive bitten all my nails off and am close to tearing out my hair. I discussed this with my husband when I got the lymph count. I believe in his fidelity totally and i have not had sex with anyone but him in all these years. Hes upset that im dwelling on hiv but its all I see on the net in regards to low lymph count. I didn't tell him about my ex boyfriend who had cheated on me with countless people and did drugs.

I got the results of the culture today after finding out that my doctor is off until Wednesday and I google it and find that's it's rare? And mostly in immunocompromised people. I am terrified!

I know I should test I just feel like it will def be positive... Again thank you so much I just wanted to add more specifics
Avatar universal
Oh And I'm 33 from the us and I don't travel and I'm Caucasian
239123 tn?1267651214
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Your previous sexual relationships are irrelevant.  As long as your last sex with your "high risk" partner was more than a few weeks before your negative HIV test 2 years ago, that test result proves you didn't catch HIV from him.

Despite what you found on line, K. pneumoniae is not a particularly rare cause of UTI, and the kinds of immune compromise that predispose to UTI are entirely different than HIV infection.

You're showing all the signs of someone who searches the internet and, not being medically trained, has difficulty putting the information they find into context.  In that circumstance, people tend to be misinterpret what they find in ways that inflames their pre-existing fears.  If instead of HIV you were afraid of, say, tuberculosis, then you would tend to be drawn to information that confirms that diagnosis.

As suggested above, I agree you shouldn't have to wait until next Wednesday to be treated for your UTI and to begin other testing to sort all this out.  Discuss it with your doctor's office, and if they cannot refer you to a back-up physician, start looking on your own.

Thanks for the personal background.  No clues there -- except that HIV is very rare in the US in white heterosexuals without obvious risks, like sex between men or injection drug use.
Avatar universal
Thank you so much Dr for putting things into perspective for me. All that you say is true. I feel guilty for putting myself at risk when I was young and even more guilty for failing to test until I'd already put my husband at risk. I don't have faith in the test I took and I obsess about every ailment and always attach it to HIV... Another hiv test is the only way forward but with the recent UTI and lab count it's as if my fears are coming true.

I will try to work up the courage to test and will def get treated for my UTI ... If I do test I will post my results ... I really appreciate your help

Avatar universal
Reading back your first response I wonder why will my doctor want to test for HIV?
Avatar universal
And why is it urgent for me to get tested?
239123 tn?1267651214
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Your UTI should be treated promptly; every day you wait, there is a risk the infection will ascend to involve your kidneys, which can be serious and usually requires hospitalization for IV drugs.

Although HIV is unlikely based all the information currently available, of course you don't want to take even a small chance of missing it.  But retesting for HIV isn't urgent, except maybe to calm your fears about it -- which certainly seemed urgent an hour ago!
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