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Oct 16, 2001

Dr. Feinberg

In one of your answers you state that it would be likely that a person would have a higher sed rate than 1 if they were infected with hiv. In another statement you say that people with hiv have sed rates between 0-20. Dr. Holidniy on this site said in an answer " Yes your sed rate would be higher than 1 with hiv infection". Which is it? I was told that a sed rate goes up due to inflamamtion or infection and therfore it would at least be slightly elevated( maybe still in normal range but definately higher than a 0 or 1)

Response from Dr. Feinberg

Yes, sed rates generally go up in the face of ongoing infection or inflammation, but that doesn't happen 100% of the time. 0-20 is the normal range for sed rates in most labs, and this range certainly encompasses 1. Medicine operates on approximation, and death & taxes are the only rock-bottom certainties. The main point is that there are better ways of diagnosing and managing HIV infection than getting hung up on the sed rate, which is a non-specific test.

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