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Natural Progression- Can you tell me when I converted?
Dec 10, 2001

Hi Dr Dezube and thank you for doing this. Say I take a test for HIV and it turns up positive. I have never been tested before and have had unsafe sex in the past. But this is this first time I've been tested and it was a positive test result. Is it possible, that medical science could do testing to accurately conclude when I seroconverted. Could you tell me to within the year, or two years, or three years, etc... as to approximately when I was infected with the Hiv virus? Would some strains of HIV progress to AIDS more rapidly than others. Are there people with more potent strains of HIV walking around and if you were to become infected by one of them, could the virus progress from Hiv+ to AIDS to death more rapidly if left unchecked? Or is there a definite (roughly to the year/month) amount of time that a person could live with the virus unknowingly while living a relatively healthy lifestle?

Response from Dr. Dezube

There are just sooooo many factors which determine how one's body deals with the HIV virus. Consequently, the pace of HIV infection/AIDS can vary from patient to patient, and as a result, it is quite difficult to pinpoint with any degree of precision the time you seroconverted. And yes, there are more potent strains of HIV. However, usually the factors which determine the progression of AIDS have more to do with the host (i.e. your immune response) than with the virus strain. BD.

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