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Brain tumor, question of HIV status
Jun 1, 2001

dear doctor, I had a brain tumor of july last year and since then you thought that I have been hiv positive. After many months of worry I got myself tested and the result was negative. I had all the things associated with hiv, the purple mark on my body, two purple marks on my body which look like kaposi's sarcoma and I find it hard to get an erection any more. I thought that the test would only be a formality and that it would be positive but it's not. My question to you is that could the blood testing department have made a mistake and what do you think i should do now. Could you please give me some advice doctor many thx ww

Response from Dr. Dezube

Since thebody.com is an HIV information resource, I did indeed assume that you were HIV positive when you first wrote about your brain tumor. I'm glad to hear you are HIV negative, one less thing to worry about. You ask how reliable is the test-- That in some ways depends upon your risk factors that lead to you to be tested. The tests are extremely reliable, but if you fall in any of the traditional groups at risk for HIV infection, it would be reasonable to get a second test after a few months. My suspicion is that that too will be negative if you have not been exposed to HIV during the intervening period. I am not aware of any data to suggest that brain tumor patients have falsely negative HIV tests. However, certain chemotherapy treatments and drugs used to treat tumors can suppress the normal antibody response, so it is indeed conceivable that there may be interference with HIV testing. If you do get repeat tested, I would suggest you do it at most one more time. Please let me know. BD.


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