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Please Help - 1-Year Test - Am I Done?
Sep 8, 2006

Hi Dr. Bob,

Thank you for your unending contributions to this site! I know that I probably don't need to worry about this, but I have been anyway. I'm writing you to hopefully put this behind me once and for all...

One year ago I engaged in french kissing with a girl, who was not my girlfriend. It was a drunk thing and very uncharacteristic of me as I've never cheaed on a girlfriend. That was the extent of the encounter, nothing else - just kissing.

Though I know that it would be rather unlikely to have gotten HIV from this, I have since had antibody tests at 3, 6 and 9 months (all negative) and a DNA PCR test also at 9 months (also negative).

A couple questions:

1. Does the combination of negative 9-month antibody and PCR tests mean that I FOR SURE do not have HIV?

2. Since antibody and PCR tests look for different things, does having both make a negative result from both even more reliable?

3. In a couple weeks I'll go in for a (hopefully final) 12-month antibody test. Will a negative result from that ensure that I don't have HIV?

I'm sorry to bother you with these worries given the somewhat low risk that I was at, it's just confusing sifting through all the literature out there. For instance, even this site says that:

"Testing at 3 and 6 months after possible exposure will detect almost all HIV infections. However, there are NO GUARANTEES as to when an individual will produce enough antibodies to be detected by an HIV test. If you have any unexplained symptoms, talk with your health care provider and consider re-testing for HIV."

4. So how can you really know for sure? Can I be sure that I don't have HIV and really get a woo-hoo now?

Thanks again for all your great work -- it is extremely appreciated by everyone reading this site!

Response from Dr. Frascino

This forum is dedicated to HIV-positive folks, particularly those who have concerns related to fatigue and/or anemia. Questions related to HIV transmission, prevention, safer sex, HIV testing and risk should be sent to Dr. Bob at his "Safe Sex and HIV Prevention" expert forum. Please resubmit your question there using the same title and add the phrase, "resubmitted form the Fatigue and Anemia Forum." Thank you.


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