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A student in Trouble
Mar 25, 2004

Will donate $50 since my means are modest, much rather then pay that much for another HIV test.

A 65 day negative elisa and pcr...conclusive??? or not?? if not whatare my odds??? please doc, i can't even think of finals with this howering in my head

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hey Stud in Trouble,

A definitive answer depends on your potential exposure. If you shared needles with some HIV-positive buddies or had unprotected anal receptive sex with some dudes confirmed to be HIV poz, the CDC would recommend a six-month antibody test, even if previous tests were negative. If, on the other hand, you had the more usual handjob from a cross-dressing bisexual lesbian Mormon midget, well then your worries are already over. For most exposures, I feel a three-month antibody test is conclusive. I don't recommend a PCR for routine screening, due to false positive/false negative results. There are also differences between PCR-DNA and PCR-RNA. The sensitivity of some of these tests depends on viral load, assay thresholds, status of antiretroviral therapy, and other technical "stuff."

So where does that leave you? Without additional information, the best I can say is that a 65-day negative ELISA and "PCR" are extremely, extremely encouraging; however, if you want a definitive result, you should probably spend the 50 bucks on a three-month ELISA. It's really the other money (the 65-day ELISA and PCR money) you didn't need to spend.

Should you let this worry you as you study for finals? No. your chances of being HIV-positive are extremely slim. (Probably off the radar screen). However, if you blow an exam, you can always use WPWS (Window Period Waiting Stress) as an excuse and ask your prof for a "do-over!"

Good luck on your tests (blood and scholastic). I'm quite confident you'll be WOO-HOO-ing next time you write in well, at least about the blood test anyway.

Dr. Bob



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