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Trust or not to trust!
Jul 29, 2009

Hello Dr. Joseph, I am really a bit confused since I don't know whether I should trust my HIV test result or not! my last risky exposure was in 2006, recently I did the test thrice. first one was HIV 1/2 Abbott ,the second one I guess it was Elisa (not sure), and the third one was HIV Combi( this test looks for Antigen & Antibodies). are these tests enough? Is the DNA test warranted? the only problem I have is only Herpes Zoster, this year I had three attacks of it. please Dr. tell me what to do?? Does the recurrence of Zoster mean for sure = HIV+?? or there are other reasons??

Response from Dr. McGowan

The screening test for HIV is quite sensitive, especially if you have been tested 3 times and it has been 3 years since your last potential exposure, there would be no reason to do the PCR test. Zoster (shigles) can occur in people without HIV. Stress or use of medications such as steroids may trigger it.

Best, Joe

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