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Transmission of hiv subtype o

Nov 2, 2000

After engaging in oral sex with an african sex worker, I developed signs consistent of hiv infection (very low t-cell count,rash,sore lymph nodes throughout,etc). All the standard tests for hiv-1 and hiv-2 are repeatedly negative 6 months out. Is subtype O transmitted the same way as the hiv-1 in the U.S.? Also,what test can I take to check for hiv-1,group o?

Response from Mr. Kull

My knowledge in this area is limited to what I have read, so please, talk to a medical professional about this issue as well. Your question relates more to virology, an area that is too complex for this type of forum. For this reason, I will refer you to some articles that explain groups, types, and subtypes of HIV in detail:

How good is your HIV test?

Global Epidemiology of HIV Infection

HIV Subtypes: a quick primer

Do HIV tests detect HIV group O?

For people who have had sexual or needle sharing contact with individuals from Central Africa where group O is endemic, a combination HIV-1/HIV-2 test is recommended. The combination antibody test should detect group O antibodies, but it is not guaranteed. Consult with a physician to see if specific viral detection methods are called for in your case.


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