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ability to produce antibodies to hiv?

Aug 19, 2003

Hello Dr.Bob,I have a question about producing antibodies for the hiv test.If you have a normal whiteblood count and normal lymphocyte count can you feel assured that you are able to produce antibodies to hiv after the window period? My white blood count is 6100 and 36 are lymphocytes a little on the low side of normal can I feel safe that I am able to produce antibodies.I have read that sometimes late in infection some people might lose their ability to produce antibodies.My possible exposure was over 10 years ago I have tested 4 times for hiv over the last year all negative or not detected 3EIAs and 1 DNA-PCR. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME!!!

Response from Dr. Frascino


Your exposure was over 10 years ago. You've had 3 negative antibody tests (EIA's) and 1 negative DNA-PCR (this test does not involve antibody production). You just can't get anymore negative than that.

Regarding your specific question about antibody production, yes, patients with severe immunodeficiency can have impaired antibody production. This makes sense, because antibody production is a basic immune system function. If our immune system is badly damaged, as in end-stage AIDS, then it cannot function normally. Please note when this is the case, the person is physically very ill. This certainly is not your problem.

Bottom line WOO-HOO! You're negative!

Stay well.

Dr. Bob

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