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Nov 13, 2002

Hi Dr. Bob!

I am the guy from hawaii, and I just got back my elisa orasure test from the lab. It came back negative! But, its only a 6.5 week test (46 days). The lab says its a 3rd generation elisa, so that at 6 weeks, its highly accurate and highly unlikely I have hiv. They also said that my negative was an absolute negative when they ran the test? I don't know what they meant by this.

They told me even if I re-test in another 6 weeks, it'll come back negative again. Is this true? Even my regular doc says 6 weeks is enough to sleep well at night, regardless of symptoms.

The reason for my concern is because of my symptoms. I 've had seborrheic dermatitis, hypopigmentation of my skin, numbness behind my right ear, and super dry mouth in the morning (salivary gland disease?)

The dermatitis, numb ear and hypopigmentation was going on before I took the orasure test. The dry mouth after. With this in mind, because it came back negative, does this mean the symptoms were not due to hiv?

Sorry so long hear, but I just want to make sure. Do yuo think the test may have missed my possible infection? Can I possibly WOO-HOO? Would you? Thanks again Dr. Bob! If you ever come to Hawaii, we'll have a cold one on the beach and go surfing off waikiki. Aloha, Steven

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Steven,

Your symptoms are not at all suggestive of HIV seroconversion. Your negative 3rd generation ELISA is quite encouraging, but I still think a WOO-HOO is a bit premature. ELISA tests are getting better and better, but the 3-month recommendation still applies.

Yes, sleep well at night, surf well during the day, and try not to worry. Retest at 12 weeks. I'm quite sure it will be negative and at that time, I'll join you on the beach at Waikiki to have a cold one, catch some waves, and WOO-HOO like a couple of wild surfer dudes, OK? Good luck.

Dr. Bob

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