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Swollen gland

Oct 30, 2004

Dear Dr Bob,

I had sex with a prostitute approximately four months ago. Unfortunately the condom split during sex. I decided to get a hiv antibody test at 12 weeks which came back negative. I was still worried about hiv so decided to get another test at 16 weeks. This also came back negative although still fear about my persisting gland. Do you think (1) There is a possibility that i am infected? (2) i need a test after six months? Finally (3) In percentage terms how accurate is the 3 month ELISA test?

Many Thanks Mike

Response from Dr. Horwath

You've had tests at 12 and 16 weeks after the possible sexual exposure. After 3-4 months, the sensitivity of the ELISA test for HIV antibodies is greater than 99%.

Rather than worrying about your past exposure, you'd be better served by doing what you can to prevent future exposures. For example, you might try avoiding prostitutes, using a better quality of condom, or try using 2 condoms, among a variety of other preventive measures.

cd4 count and viral load
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