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test sensitivity for HIV1 subtypes
Jul 28, 2002

Dear Ryan, Please let me begin by thanking you for this generous and invaluable service. I am a 26 yr old heterosexual male living in the UK. At the end of July 1999 I had an encounter with a woman in thatiland that involved brief exposure of my penis to her vaginal fluids. 6 weeks after returning I started to have diarrhoea, joint pains, oral candida, a droning headache with a sense of detatchment and occipital pain...the lot basically. Was ver worried about HIV at the time, so took HIV Elisa at 6wks, 2month,3months and 6months, antigen test at 2 months. All were negative. Also had psoriasis which begean then and prexisting dermatitis worsened. I still have persistent psoriasis, with bimonthly ulcers in throat and discharge from penis three years later. Do you think the diagnosis could have been missed due to non B subtype of HIV 1? Please help. Thankyou.

Response from Mr. Kull

It is unlikely that your antibody tests were falsely negative. Antibody tests are fine tuned to detect virtually all subtypes of HIV-1. Nevertheless, since a small possibility of an antibody test not detecting a subtype of HIV-1 exists, it is recommended that you talk to your physician about your symptoms to determine if: a) they are indicative of HIV infection, and b) further screening for non-B subtypes is necessary.

RMK



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