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Nonresponder - not creating antibodies
Mar 28, 2004

Dear Dr. Bob,

Thank you for reading this sad story and I wish you the best of all for your life and your effort to fight with HIV virus. I am soory for my gramar but being not native English speaker pls. excuse me. Please could you tell me if I could have been nonresponder regarding of creating antibodies against HIV virus when I was vaccinated HepB and my body had created sufficient titer of antibodies.So my immnune system had been working well that time. Between the second and the third injection of vaccine HepB I had single possible exposure ( East Europe) and have been repeatedly tested negative ELISA HIV 1,2,0 up to 8,5 months past the exposure. My serious concern are my clinical symptopms that have been already persisted for more then one year: Enlarged and tender lymph nodes ( armpits, submandibular, inguinal area),white tongue, angular cheilitis, subferbile temperature, elevated total globulin level, elevated percentage CD8,thrush in inguinal area. Very serious is that my symptoms have been transfered to my wife and now I am afraid that she is infected as well.

I have read that nonresponders are not able to create enough antibodies to detect and remain missdiagnosed.This is very bad as I wanted to have PCR test but was refused based on my neg ELISA. In case I would have had HIV infection my wife were infected as well and that would be big tragedy. This question is everyday on my mind:Am I realy HIV free or was tested false negative ?

What is your opinion Dr. Bob?

Thank you for your answer in advance.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

You are correct that if your immune system responded to hep B vaccine by making antibodies, its antibody making function is indeed working well. Even a single false-negative ELISA test is extremely rare. Repeated false negatives are almost unheard of! I totally agree with your physicians. PCR testing is not warranted, as HIV is definitely not your problem. I can't diagnose exactly what is causing your symptoms over the Internet, but I can definitely tell you what's not causing them. It's not HIV. Your fears are irrational. Follow up with your doctor if your (and your wife's) symptoms persist. Also, ask for a referral for some counseling, if this "question is everyday on your mind."

Good luck. Feel better.

Dr. Bob



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