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Testing question
Apr 26, 2010

Dr. Joe,

Have you ever had someone test positive after testing negative a bunch of times? I have had 11 negative HIV tests since 2003, 3 of those tests were 6 years after possible exposure. All types of tests including oral and blood and PCR and bDNA. CD4's have been at 1000 in 2003 and then 701 in Sept 2009 and 1202 in Feb. 2010.

Yet I'm seeing loss of fat in my face, forearms and legs and buttocks and the growing tummy as well. This is why I'm so fixated on HIV. My legs hurt the most and sometimes it's a deep bone pain.

I've tried to do my best at taking supplements like selenium, vitamin D and also taking testosterone since they found that was slightly low. Also take a multivitamin, green tea extract, and Boost or Ensure drinks.

I basically live like I have HIV do to symptoms yet have not had a positive test yet on paper.

If I truly was positive what is the usual reason for this? Have you ever seen this happen? Would it be a weird strain or subtype of the virus or could very little viral load cause someone to not test positive? Could it because it's not six years or more after exposure and so there are very few antibodies in circulation?

I just did another oral test with results coming back on the 6th of May. I just hope that there is a good reason for all these false negatives if it truly is HIV.

Thanks,

M.

Response from Dr. McGowan

M,

The only times I have had a person test positive after being negative multiple times is if they have had ongoing risky sex or shared needles to inject drugs.

As I mentioned your symptoms are not consistent with undiagnosed and untreated HIV. You describe symptoms and body changes that would not occur from HIV alone. A good evaluation from a medical doctor and a work up for endocrine (glandular) conditions would be the next step. I would not recommend further HIV tests, you may end up getting a false positive and be treated unnecessarily. Be safe in your sexual encounters and move on or your focus on this can lead to depression and will not let you enjoy your life.

Best, Joe



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