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safe after 3 weeks? (i donated!)

Aug 19, 2004

a friend of mine had some blood work done 3 weeks after unprotected sex with a stranger and suspicious symptoms (fevers, purple splotches, dry mouth, swollen lymph nodes) which were looked at by a doctor who ordered the blood test...he showed me his "lab results" which consisted of lymphocyte and monocyte counts (i don't really know what this means) and i guess a HIV viral load test as well an antibody test. the antibody test was of course negative since it was only 3 weeks after the encounter but the doctor told him that the other tests were confirmatory that he was not infected with HIV cos otherwise it would be obvious via the test that he was seroconverting. in your professional opinion is this correct? is it possible (to have a confirmatory test this early) and if so I guess that makes him safe to sleep with, correct?

given the symptoms he had he must have had *something* -- are there unknown viruses out there floating around that i should worry about?

thanks! this site is wonderful . i'm not extremely well off, but i donated $100 by credit card to your foundation through the concerted effort website.

-A

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi A,

Current guidelines suggest that if someone has placed himself/herself at risk for HIV, he/she should have an HIV ELISA test at three or more months following the potential exposure. Testing prior to that is not considered definitive. HIV viral load testing is not recommended for routine HIV screening for a variety of reasons, including false-positive test results. I concur with these guidelines.

Whether your friend is "safe to sleep with," that's an easy one. HIV positive or not, just use appropriate protection and he'll be safe not only to sleep with but have sex with too!

Could he have had "something?" Sure, but the same rules about HIV prevention apply.

Thank you for your donation. My foundation will use it to:

1. Provide crucial services for men, women, and children living with HIV/AIDS.

2. Promote HIV/AIDS awareness through education and advocacy.

The Foundation's latest newsletter should be posted on our foundation's website, www.concertedeffort.org, within a few days.

Stay safe. Stay well. Many thanks.

Dr. Bob



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