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PCR DNA QUAL and SE ASIA HIV strains
Dec 14, 1998

I had a negative DNA PCR QUAL at 22 days after an exposure of unprotected vaginal intercourse in Malaysia. I am the male. 9 days after the exposure I experienced peripheral neuropathy followed by muscle aches. I had also started antibiotics (ofloxacin) at about the same time for NSU I contracted during the exposure. I discontinued the antibiotics and the numbness disappeared gradually over 5 days. however the muscle pain and especially the joint pain in my hands (feels like arthritis) and knees is still present 3 weeks after stopping ofloxacin (although getting better!). No other symptoms (fever, night sweats, rash etc) were/are present. Lymphocytes however are low at 15% 18 days after exposure. Lymphocyte count 8 months ago was 26%

Questions as follows:

1. Would the PCR DNA QUAL in the US pick up any/all/majority of HIV strains contracted in S.E. Asia.

2. Any comments on my symptoms and antibiotics. does it sound like ARS or drug reaction? What about 15% lymphocytes?

3. How reliable is the PCR DNA at 22 days and how common are false negatives. The test was done (blood drawn)in the SF bay area by at a well regarded HIV specalist. Should I get tested further?

I'm not sleeping nights so any comforting comments would be VERY greatly appreciated.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

The DNA PCR should pick up strains in SE Asia. Although it should be positive early, 22 days might be a little early to be definitive. I might followup that test with antibody testing at this point. Your symptoms are somewhat nonspecific (as acute HIV infection could be), and could be related to an STD, drug reaction, or other viral infection. A lymphocyte percentage of 15% is low, and could be that way because of one of the conditions I listed. MH



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