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I would like to confirm this from doctor
Jun 17, 2001

Dear doctor,

Please answer this ASAP. I am in desperate because I heard this as below; A Korean doctor said he had seen the African AIDS positive case at 2 years in an AIDS magazine. So, he said the some cases of AIDS will not test positive at 6 months after an exposure. I am just single normal Korean woman. I am afraid if I will not be tested at 6 months. It made me be nervous.

Question : 1. What is the problem of immune system that the some cases of AIDS will not produce the AIDS antibodies at 6 months? Pls let me know the reason. 2. Will I be tested at 6 months?

It is difficult for me to ignore since I heard the some cases after 6 months. It is hard to take the yearly testing for the rest of my life if Ill not be tested at 6 months. I would like to confirm this from doctor.

Thanks & regards Christine

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Christine,

Your physician was referring to a very rare case where a person may not develop HIV antibodies for a significant period of time after HIV infection. This is an extremely rare occurrence and has to do with the way that a person's immune system recognizes and reacts to the virus. If you had a significant exposure in the past and your HIV antibody tests are negative at 6 months, it is extremely unlikely that you are infected. You could do other tests, such as a viral load test, to supplement the antibody testing. Talk to your doctor about your fears. You have written to ask me this question 3 times over the past few weeks. I hope my response will add to your comfort level and allow you to stop worrying about extraordinarily unlikely events.

Stay well,

RJF


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