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Window Period
Jun 23, 2005

Dear Dr,

Recently exposed to unknown amount of blood during hospital visit with fresh cut on my hand, washed it off but did not take PEP drugs. Two weeks later develop fatigue and muscle aching, night sweat, tongue blemish, cold sore, dementia, diarrhea, etc. One month later I done a blood test on HIV I&II (ELISA), VDRL, TPHA, Chlamydia IGG Herpes I&II, Hepatitis B are all negative. But anti-streptolysin elevated as high as 400H per IU/ML (exceed the normal range=<200). Is this considered as window period infection for HIV? Does the streptolysin means there are HIV toxin that cause destruction of hemoglobin in my blood? Please help!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

You developed "dementia" two weeks after your exposure? Hmmm . . . OK, if you say so.

Antistreptolysin O (also called ASO) is an antibody found in blood that indicates sometime in the past you have had an infection like strep throat caused by the Streptococcus bacterium. It has nothing to do with HIV tests.

The "window period" for HIV infection is considered to be three months for most types of potential HIV exposures. HIV tests taken prior to three months are not considered definitive.

I would not be at all concerned about your elevated ASO. If you are having ongoing symptoms, see your doctor for an evaluation before that dementia drives you crazy.

Dr. Bob


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