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Will PET Scan detect HIV?
Sep 23, 2003

First of all I love this forum. Pardon me if I placed my question in the wrong section, but I have not found anyone who can answer this.

My possible infection was 3 and a half months ago. Last week was my first possible symptoms (small rashes on my arms and in my hands and a slight white coat on tongue).

Also last week I had a PET Scan, CT Scan and broncoscopy because I am a cancer survivor. They also took my blood. I understand that they may not detect HIV if they check blood, if they were not looking for it. But what are the chances that any of these scans, would have detected HIV?

Worried in LA

Response from Dr. Horwath

Signs and symptoms associated with waning immunity would not show up several months after a primary HIV infection. The average time between initial infection and symptoms such as opportunistic infection (eg. oral thrush) is 10 years.

The blood test for HIV (Elisa confirmed by Western blot) is highly sensitive and highly specific for HIV. It is the best screening tool we have available.

A PET scan is not likely to pick up signs of HIV infection.



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