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please answerrr
Jul 29, 2012

hi doctor: i read that stress can affect your immune system because while you have stress your body produce cortisol that is an hormone that decrease your immune system. So that would affect antibody production and these hormones are equal to corticosteroids that when they are use to treat an illness they affect the immune system therefore decreasing antibody production. I am a person suffering from stress constantly, so I'm worried that this might affect my results because according to what I read stress affects the production of antibodies.

1. I want to know if constant stress can affect my hiv test? I can be relaxed despite my stress? 2. According to what I read the hormones produced by stress are similar to corticosteroids. ¿Constant stress hormones can affect HIV test as can happen with the use of corticosteroids? If not why not if the stress hormones are similar to corticosteroids?

Response from Dr. McGowan

When we talk about stress hormones we mean adrenaline (epinephrine), and also glucocorticoids. Glucocorticoids are steroids that can alter the body's response to inflammation. These raises are transient (very short lived) and would not impact on the body's ability to make antibodies. So stress would not be a cause of a falsely negative HIV test. Joe



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