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Sensitivity of Testing in '89

Jan 21, 1999

Dr. Holodniy: In 1988 I had a possible exposure to HIV. After several weeks I experienced symptons associated with ARS..swollen glands, rash, headache, sore throat, and white spots on my tonsils. I was taking antibiotics for almost 6 weeks until the sore throat and white spots disappeared. Due to my concern about HIV, I had an Elisa test done at 5 months and again at 9 months. Both tests were negative. Could extreme stress and fear of possible HIV exposure during those 9 months, or the extended antibiotic consumption have delayed detection of antibodies beyond a 9 month period, (taking into consideration the sensitivity level of the tests used in 1989?) Thank you for your time.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Neither stress or antibiotics would affect an HIV antibody test. Even back then 9 months post exposure would have been sufficient to detect antibodies. Many people were recommending testing out to 12 months in those days. You did not say, but I take it your health is fine now and have not retested? MH

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