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The extremely rare cases???
Aug 1, 2002

Dear Dr. Aberg,

In this site, From Dr.Dezube saying, "Basically, if you test negative at 6 months, then you are HIV-negative. The only way for you to become positive, as far as I know, is to be exposed to the HIV virus once again. So relax, and continue to practice safe sex."

But CDC said "It would be extremely rare to take longer than 6 month" I feel that there are some cases to take longer than 6 months.

A Korean Doctor said that one case from Africa to take 2 years from a AIDS magazine and he was not sure maybe if someone to take over 2 years later.

Do you think 100 is at 6 months? But CDC and the other expert said 99.9 is at 6 months. (including technical or human errors) But Dr.Dezube saying it is impossible to take over 6 months. I am soooooooo confused. I want to get the clear answer from these.

Thanks PS) hopefully expecting your quick answer.

Response from Dr. Aberg

I think the confusion is because the CDC recommendations are based on the HIV antibody test only and most of us use the HIV-1 PCR test which measures actual virus in addition to the antibody tests. So, if you only had antibody testing, then the CDC guidelines are accurate. I expect that the guidleines will be revised to include the HIV-1 PCR testing.

Remember the old adage "Nothing in life is ever 100% except death and taxes" so one could argue that there are exceptions to every rule. Is it possible that a blood sample got mis-labeled or there was an unexpected lab error? Of course. That is why we always get more than one test. I recognize the anxiety associated with the potential of HIV exposure. Dr Dezube is trying to help alleviate your anxiety. The chance that you have HIV with a HIV viral load and antibody test negative at six months is not impossible but as close to it as it gets. There will always be an incredible exception but our testing has improved greatly over the past years and repeated testing reduces the possibility of laboratory errors. It is time to stop worrying and move forward as Dr. Dezube recommends.



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