Viral Load Denied
Aug 9, 1999
Last month I requested from my Doctor that he test me for Viral Load to rule out or confirm HIV infection. At the time it was about 9 months since my last exposure. Ive been getting tested for antibodies about every 6 weeks since because of unexplainable symptoms. Mono like illness 2 weeks after exposure. Swollen tonsils for ten months now, pain and swelling in my legs(inner thighs,and behind my knees),swelling of my upper pectorals near my armpits, and swelling in front of my elbows for about 8 months. Last Feburary I became very sick for several days with fever , chills, headache and sore throat- this was 5 months post exposure and I suspected it was seroconversion, but 5 months later I still have a negative EIA. In recent months I've had occasional diarrhea and most recently frequent nosebleeds, but no fever or rashes. My doctor refused to give me the Viral Load test because he is concerned about a possible false positive and he says the test is not a good test to confirm HIV infection. He is an ID specialist and I know I couldn't find anyone more qualified to evaluate my symptoms, I dont want to go to another Doctor. He tested me again for HIV 1&2 antibodies but only because I insisted. He does acknoledge the swelling but cannot explain it. He did test me for a lot of things but HIV testing was limited to Antibody testing. I'm a little suprised he isn't concerned. He says the chance of me testing positive now are about the same as the chances of a UFO landing on my head...but I'm not so sure. The symptoms are very, very scary because of their nature and duration. I've heard all the stories about people who take a year or more to convert or dont convert at all. Is that me? Do I need my Doctors approval for a PCR DNA test or is there somewhere I can get tested without his OK? I figure If I am infected I'll find out eventually but I'd like to find out sooner rather than later. My last Elisa was negative 10 months post exposure(tested 2 weeks ago).
Response from Dr. Holodniy
I agree with your doctor, but you should ask the local lab whether they will run a test without a doctor's order if you are willing to pay. Most will not because it relates back to insurance reimbursement for the test.
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