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Detection follow-up - help I'm falling and am trying to get up
Dec 1, 2003

David,

I read the following post on DETECTION and it started to dampen down my woo-hoo feelings as a result:

Detection (Posted 11/26)

Dave,

I was just wondering if there is a period after HIV infection when antibodies are no longer detectable, like 3-7 years after infection. Would n Elisa done in this time period be able to detect HIV, syp. or HepC

YOURANSWER:

HIV antibodies, generally persist throughout life. The only time these antibodies may be hard to detect is during severe immunosuppression, like in late stage AIDS, when even the B-cells that make our antibodies are so dysfunctional that they do not make antibodies. Even so, most persons with advanced HIV infection still are HIV+ by ELISA and western blot. DW

David, the part that concerned me was the "severe immunosuppression". I have crohn's and had a low risk exposure over a year ago. I took the several Elisa HIV-1 tests (3,6,9,12 months) all came back negative. I still feel tired a lot of the time and bad at times (usually in the evening), have had some night sweats for weeks etc. But after the negative tests I convinced myself some was due to stress, others to crohn's.

I guess it is my lack of understanding of immunosuppressed. I have had a lot of the feelings/symptoms at different times over the past 25 years I have had crohn's, but some seem different too - maybe due to age or crohn's disease progression.

Am I worrying needlessly and should I take my 4 tests as definitive and continue to move on with life?

I thought despite the crohn's I would have shown AB production on one of the tests if I had HIV.

Anyway, thanks!! M2

Response from Dr. Wohl

Dear M2-

Crohn's disease is not the kind of immunosupprerssion I am talking about. I mean in bed, skeletal, CD4 count=3, comfort care immunosuppression. You do not have HIV infection. DW



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