|Could the PCR be that wrong?
Mar 20, 2011
Dear doctor, I'm resorting to asking you this question here because I feel as though I'm running out of places to turn to. I have a very poor rapport with my HIV doctor because he is the only doctor who is specialized in HIV in Lebanon. Now in September 2008, I had unprotected anal sex with another man. In November 2008, I was tested for HIV and my results came back negative. In January 2009, I had sex again but it was with a different partner; however, a condom was used this time. In July 2009, I was diagnosed as HIV +. I was diagnosed + on both the rapid test and the Eliza. In Lebanon there is only 1 type of Eliza test and the Western Blot is not heard of. At that time I was told I was positive on the Eliza over the phone, I've never seen the actual document. The second confirmation test that they have available is the PCR-RNA. Again I was told that I have an initial viral load of 140,000 ml/HIV-1 on my first PCR test. Now, I've only had 2 sexual partners and it was easy for me to pinpoint my HIV to my first sexual encounter - However, the guy I had barebacked with is negative & a condom was used with my second sexual encounter. I'm confused as to how and from where I could have had HIV. My doctor is insisting that it is from my first partner; however, he has several tests showing that he is negative and he is not on HAART medication. Moreover, during my first testing periods (in July 2009), I had scabies and crabs that I had contracted by sharing a friend's towel by mistake who had them. The crabs lasted from (June 2009 all the way to October 2009). My doctor is telling me that I have HIV based solemnly on the PCR results... I want to know... How accurate is the PCR? Also, in less than a year, my doctor said that I need to start taking my meds. He said I'm a rapid progressor...Saying that I'm losing 67 WBC/ml every 2 months. The thing is... I don't even have any symptoms nor do I get or feel sick. When there was a break-out of H1N1 in Lebanon, I was one of the few who was not even showing any flu like symptoms. My viral load was in the normal range, just until the past months. In December 2010, I was still in the 500 WBC; but in February 2011 I went all the way down to 386. When I ask my doctor for a differential diagnosis, he gets all bitchy and says that I have no right to question his diagnosis... But could there be other disorders that cause such a discrepancy in PCR results? When I asked the lab technician what kind of PCR machine they use, she had no idea. Could I have a blood disorder (other than HIV) that is giving me a positive PCR result? My last PCR result said that I have a viral load of 230,000 ml/HIV-1; to which my doctor said: "This is normal because you are in the acute infection phase." Thanks in advance
| Response from Dr. Holodniy
You now have two HIV viral load test results over 100,000. I suggest you discuss HIV treatment options with your physician.
Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS
This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.
Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither TheBody.com nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.