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Are HIV antibodies present 6 years after exposure if the virus was dormant?
Dec 23, 2009

I had a possible exposure in 2003 or possibly before,and actually had 8 HIV tests back then spanning 7/8 months. Had taken blood antibody, PCR to <400, oral tests, and bDNA down to <50 copies. All negative.

In 2009 which is now six years later I was at home and developed lymph node swelling in random lymph locations. Had another HIV antibody test done which was negative again.

However my legs seem to be aching all the time and thinning, I do not have as much semen in my ejaculate, I do not feel tired though... I am sweating more at night. My CD4's have dropped from 1000 in 2003/2004 to 701 now in 2009.

In September when I had a CBC my total lymphocyte % was 38.5 and then in Oct and Nov it dropped to 19.2%.

In my mind I'm thinking, okay HIV was dormant and when it woke up it destroyed a bunch of lymph cells with it.

Now it's December and I'm still fine except my legs keep aching and I seem to be losing weight in them.

Waiting on another HIV antibody and PCR <40 test result.

Have you ever heard of this kind of scenario? I'm angry because I really feel it is HIV and somehow it just has not shown up on tests.

If it does show up now, what can I ask them to determine why it took this long to detect? Viral strain? Something about my system that is unique?

Very frustrated because now this would involve my Fiancee as well because we've been together since the last battery of tests and I assumed I was okay.

Thanks,

M.

Response from Dr. McGowan

Dear M.

HIV does not lie dormant in the body. We now know that the virus copies itself right from the first day of the infection. It is true that it can take years for symptoms to develop, but that is not because the virus is not growing. You have not contracted HIV from your exposure 6 years ago. You should be reassured about that. Take the steps necessary to remain healthy, but do not fret about that past experience.

Best, Joe



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