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Drawing from the worried well again (I hope)
Oct 5, 2003

Dr. Bob,

I will cut to the chase. I have a persistent cough, sometimes I produce a little sputum (sp?) most of the time it is dry. I also have bumps like acne that seem to appear, then go down and disappear - some grow quite large, like multiple ones together.

I had a low risk exposure, no penis penetration oral, anal or vaginal, and was tested at 40 weeks at the clinic that specializes in detection and treatment of STDs.

I was ready to walk away Woo-Hoo happy, but was told by a counselor at my last test that this test only covered HIV1 and I would have to go elsewhere to get an HIV 2 test.

My questions - 1) how prevalent is HIV2 in the US (i.e. should I be worried about this?)

2) could the counselor just be misinformed and the test done is a later generation and could detect HIV2 presence?

3) if not, could what I am seeing be related to HIV2?

4) Where is a clinic in Houston I can obtain a gen 3 HIV test that covers both 1 and 2?

You're the best.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

You had "no penis penetration, oral, anal, or vaginal?" Yep, I'd certainly say that qualifies as low risk sex! Your symptoms are not at all worrisome for or consistent with HIV. Your 40-week test is definitive.

HIV-2? It's found primarily in West Africa, not West Texas. It is 5 to 8-fold less transmissible than HIV-1. Most commercial labs have access to HIV-2 tests, but they are only recommended for:

1.Natives of endemic areas (West Africa).

2.Needle-sharing and sex partners of persons form endemic areas.

3.Persons who received blood transfusions or non-sterile injections in endemic areas.

4.Children of women at risk for HIV-2 infection.

So, do I think you need an HIV-2 test? Absolutely not, cowboy! Can you get one in Houston? Probably, but I don't have a specific location for you. Besides, like I just said, I don't think you even need the test!

Dr. Bob



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