|1 year test?
Jan 11, 2003
Well good doctor, here is my question... You have been preaching the 3 month test over and over. Then in one of your recent responses, you allude to the fact that the CDC's 1 year antibody test suggestion removes all doubt, whereas a PCR/DNA test can confirm your status earlier. So what is it? Do we all start testing out to 12 months? Please don't take this the wrong way, you have brought much humor and knowledge to me while waiting out my testing... just wondering if you will stick to your 3 month guns, or backpeddle a bit and go with 6 or 12 month testing for 100 confidence.
Response from Dr. Frascino
I really don't "preach" anything; I just try to explain things as clearly as I possibly can and keep everyone up to date on what our current knowledge is. Please keep in mind that everyone's case is different and that methods of testing are constantly changing. HIV medicine is an evolving field and recommendations will change over time with new knowledge and improvements in technology.
My "3 month guns?" Yes, a 3-month test is sufficient for most common concerns about possible infection, i.e. "I slept with a person of unknown status . . . ," etc. Back peddling to 6-12 months? No, the CDC and I agree that if you have had a definite, significant exposure and your 3-month test is negative, you should get a test out to 6-12 months. What's a significant exposure? Anal or vaginal receptive intercourse with someone documented to be HIV-positive, or getting stuck with a needle that has recently been used by someone known to be HIV-positive, etc.
The 6-12 month testing refers only to ELISA (antibody) tests, which are all many folks have access to or can afford. It does not take into account more sophisticated tests, such as HIV PCR RNA or PCR DNA.
Mr. Aloha, I really can't be any more explicit than that, nor can I continue to respond to "Am I infected?" questions on this forum. So everyone, please refer all similar future questions to our Safe Sex/HIV Prevention Forum. Or save them up until the next time I come to town and ask me in person at one of the presentations. I'd love to go into greater detail, but the powers-that-be have specifically asked that I keep this forum limited to HIV-related Fatigue and Anemia.
Thanks for understanding why I won't be able to answer further inquiries like this.
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