Worry about Different Groups (O) and Subtypes/Strains
Jan 6, 2012
Dear Dr. McGowan: My exposure was twenty-two years ago,and I experienced severe ARS symptoms. I have had the following tests: Antibody testing (10) between 1989-1995, Western Blot (1992 doctor's office), PCR (in doctor's office) 1995, PCR & CD4/8 ratio (normal) 2008, antibody testing HIV 1/2 in doctor's office 2010---all testing negative. I have developed a lymphoma associated with HIV and my lymphocytes have fallen to 0.4, wbc 2.0 (reference range 4.0-10.0). I'm extremely worried, developing immunity issues---do I need additional testing, and if so, which test or tests? My anxiety is severe. I do not have a doctor that is not familiar with HIV, nor are there community resources. I had asked for a test for group o, but was told that the tests I have had would detect it. I wondered if I should try to test specifically for group o or whether the tests that I had would have detected it (the DNA PCR in 2008)? Do I need additional testing at all? Thank you! Jane
Response from Dr. McGowan
I am sorry to hear that you have been diagnosed with lymphoma and wish you the best in your treatment and for a full and permanent remission. You have had extensive testing for HIV, including PCR, which would detect non-group M HIV, especially the later versions. Most people (the vast majority) who develop lymphoma are not infected with HIV. It is true that HIV can greatly increase the risk of having certain lymphomas but it is not required for lymphoma to develop. Focus your attention on your treatment and do not let these worries interfere with your health at this important time. Best, Joe
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