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Getting married. Need advice terribly..
Nov 24, 2003

Dear Dr. Pierone, I am getting married very soon to someone I never had physical contact with. So, I am very concerned that I may be HIV-infected and may infect my wife-to-be. My case is as follows: I had 3 different "low risk" encounters in Thailand in 2002. Consequently, I decided to get tested for HIV. I took (1) an ELISA HIV-1&2 test 10 weeks following exposure, (2) an ELISA HIV-1&2 9 months following exposure, and (3) an EIA HIV-1 11 months following exposure. All the tests were performed in 2003 and they all came back negative. However, now that I found out that the prevailing HIV clade in Thailand is "subtype E", I am very concerned that all these tests may have not be adequate to detect subtype E antibodies. Can you please tell me if these tests are adequate for my case? Do I need to take further tests of different kinds? If so, which tests do you recommend? Many many thanks. Andy

Response from Dr. Pierone

The HIV tests that are used now (2003) are very accurate for diagnosing subtype E infections. Actually subtype E no longer exists but has been reclassified as CRF01_AE. This new classification reflects that understanding that this genetic subtype is in reality a virus produced by recombination of 2 other subtypes. No matter, the test works well, so good luck in your upcoming marriage.

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