Medical Matters > Should people with ME be tested to exclude HIV infection?

ME Essential Winter 2017


I saw a locum GP recently and explained I was diagnosed with ME about ten years ago. He asked me if I had ever considered having an HIV test to exclude the possibility of my symptoms being caused by HIV/ AIDS. Why would a GP ask such a question?


HIV/AIDS has a number of symptoms – including fatigue, enlarged glands and feeling flu like – that overlap with ME/CFS symptoms, especially during the early stages of the illness. So there was a valid reason for asking the question. But it should have been done in a rather more tactful way!

There is more info on HIV in relation to ME/CFS in the 2017 ME Association ME/CFS/PVFS Clinical & Research Guide (also know as the ‘purple book').


Medical Matters is for information purposes only. The answers provided by Dr Shepherd and the ME Association’s other expert advisers should not be construed as medical advice. We recommend that any information you deem relevant is discussed with your GP as soon as possible. It is important to obtain advice from a GP who is in charge of your clinical care, who knows you well, and who can consider other likely causes for symptoms. Seek personalised medical advice whenever a new symptom arises, or an existing symptom worsens. Don't assume that new or worsened symptoms are a result of having ME/CFS.

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