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The only questions you answer are easy ones....

Oct 14, 2003

Why dont you ever answer questions that pertain to real risk and real testing questions regarding HIV-2 and Group O virus's.

You are so confident to say that someone has a reliable to test result at 3 months, but don't even know what their risk was or what type of testing they have done...for example they may have tested using a discreet test.

I myself have received 5 negative test results using the oraquick at 7, 8, 11, 13 and 18.5 weeks, then come to find out that you cannot get a conclusive test result for Group O or HIV-2.

I have not slept with anyone that would be considered high risk for this type of HIV, but then again I don't know who he slep with.

My exposure was a one time receptive vaginal intercourse without ejaculation.

Another thing, what about those rare people who have severely compromised immune systems...maybe I have that?

Well, anyway, I just wanted to send this, but I am sure I will get no response to this question either from the dozen or so that I have sent.

Take care and good health!

Response from Dr. Frascino


I have discussed HIV-2 and Group O viruses several times in this forum. Perhaps you were too busy repeatedly sending in your "easy question" to notice. Yes, yours too, my dear, is an "easy question," which I have answered over and over again. So I'll just sum up with a few quick points and refer you back to the archives for additional information, if you need it. OK?

1.I have to assume that when a questioner writes in about a negative or positive test, they are referring to an approved HIV test. If the test is not approved, it is, of course, by definition, unreliable from the get go. That's common sense. Typing out disclaimers like that for each and every question is, of course, unreasonable. If someone writes in and asks about the validity of this test or that, which happens not infrequently, I discuss those specific concerns.

2.Yes, most experts, myself included, are confident the 3-month "FDA-approved ELISA HIV test with confirmatory Western Blot if positive" (see what I mean about typing the disclaimer) is indeed conclusive. Apparently you don't agree, because you had 3 tests before 3 months which, I might add, absolutely everyone agrees are not definitive and 2 tests beyond 3 months.

3.You are worried about Group O and/or HIV-2, but are you worried about having your skull crushed by a bottle of Mountain Dew flung from a hot air balloon that just happened to be sailing overhead? Of course not why not? -- Because nobody drinks Mountain Dew anymore! Or are you worried that lightening will strike the metal in the wire of your push-up bra when you walk in a rainstorm? Of course not why not? Because you prefer that new Fredericks of Hollywood Velcro easy release over-the-shoulder boulder holder. Obviously, what I'm trying to say is that if the risk is too small to mention, testing (and worry) is not recommended or warranted, except under very specific situations, which are well defined (see below).

4.And how about your "another thing . . . what about those rare people who have severely compromised immune systems . . . maybe I have that?" Well, if you had a leg that was broken in 12 places with bone fragments sticking out in all directions, it probably wouldn't come as a surprise that your leg had a problem, now would it? Folks with severely compromised immune systems are severely ill. It too would not come as a surprise.

5.HIV-2 is another human retrovirus that causes immune deficiency due to depletion of CD4 cells. It is found primarily in West Africa. Compared with HIV-1, HIV-2 is less transmissible (harder to catch!). It is 5-8-fold less contagious than HIV-1 in early-stage disease, and rarely the cause of vertical transmission (from infected mother to her unborn child). The current CDC guidelines recommend HIV-2 screening only for 1) natives of endemic areas, 2) needle-sharing and sex partners of persons from endemic areas, 3) sex partners of needle-sharing partners of persons with HIV-2, 4) persons who received transfusions or nonsterile injections in endemic areas, and 5) children of women with risk for HIV-2 infection.

6.Type N or O strains. Only two patients with strain O HIV infection have been detected in the United States, as of July 2000. There have been no recognized infections with the N strain in the United States, as of March 2000.

Now that I've answered yet another easy and redundant question, I hope you'll realize that everyone who writes in to this forum believes his or her question to be valid. Many folks reading yours will find it rather ridiculous and may even criticize me for answering it. And so it goes . . . .

Dr. Bob

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is my test false negative

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