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Elisa Test -ve, CD4 normal, CD8 high!
Feb 8, 1999

Dear Mr. Holodniy:

In October 1988, I had PROTECTED vaginal sex with a prostitute twice. Athough I was told it was a low risk encounter, I do stress out because I had 2 open sores in my mouth and I wet kissed her. (No oral sex was performed.) Starting about 7 weeks after the explosure, I have had a strange temperature of around 99.2 mostly in the late afternoon. I also have more muscle ache lately. Other than that, I don't really have any other ARS.

**I AM AT MY 16 WEEKS NOW**

I had my ELISA tests done at 3 weeks, 15 weeks, and 16 weeks, they all came back negative. I wanted him to do the PCR test, but my doctor told me the PCR test may sometimes give me a false positive because it is a very sensitive test. He said the false positive may scare me to death. So instead, he did a T-cell test for me at 16 weeks.

In this T-cell test, the CD4 was about 950 (normal), all other parameters were also normal. However, my CD8 was out of range, 1030; and that made the CD4/cd8 ratio at a low of 0.9!!! My doctor insists that I am not infected. I am now very scared.

Question 1: My CD4 is normal, and my CD8 is high, do you think it is a concern?

Question 2: Does my CD8 high mean that I have an infection somewhere?

Question 3: I have had my strange 99.2 temperature for OVER 2 months now, and I am still having it now. If I indeed contracted the HIV virus, shouldn't the ELISA test +'ve by now? In other words, how long after a person experience the Acute Viral symptoms should the Antibodies test be able to pick it up?

Question 4: How reliable is the PCR test? Does it really give false positive sometimes? I have been stressing out to the limit for the last almost 4 months, I really want to do the PCR test because I have heard that it is very reliable. Do you think I should go ahead and not worry about the small possibility of false positive?

Question 5: Do you think I have the HIV virus based on the information give above?

Thank you for your response.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Your CD8 count is just out of range. I would not be concerned about it. Given the negative antibody test at 16 weeks from a very low risk exposure, the likelihood of HIV infection is extremely small. PCR tests can produce false positives. Although it would be the definitive test, I think at this point it is unnecessary. MH



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