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Autoimmune Disorders and the Window Period
Aug 7, 2002

Dear Dr. Bob,

I've been reading through a lot of the questions on this board and it's clear that you help so many people - and I love the sense of humor! I really hope you can help me, since I know you are an immunologist and I'm concerned about the HIV test I just took with my boyfriend. We used Home Access to get tested 3 months after both of our last exposures (his was unprotected vaginal sex) but I'm afraid that since he has alopecia, an autoimmune disorder, we actually have to wait 6 months to get an accurate result, because his immune system may be slow to produce antibodies. He had a negative clinic test at 6 weeks and I expect this 3-month test to be negative too...but should we wait another 3 months and do it again just to be safe? Thanks, Dr. Bob, and keep up the great work!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Thanks for your compliments. Autoimmune alopecia does indeed involve part of the immune system, but not the same part involved with making antibodies to HIV. Your HIV test will be just as accurate if your boyfriend is a "Yule Brynner" or "Cousin It" look alike!

Good luck.

Dr. Bob


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