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Jul 31, 2005

Maybe now that I have a catchy title you'll answer me!

I had an Oraquick test done at 8.5 weeks which was negative. The counselor said that this test was conclusive and that I shouldn't worry about testing again because my risk was very low (unprotected oral sex on guy with cum in mouth. Now I know this was a bunch of BS because the testing should be carried out to three months. If my 8.5 week test was negative what are the chances of me developing detectable antibodies within those last thirty days? I know you always say that negative 6-8 week tests are very encouraging but how encouraging are they?

Plus why do counselors always insist that no further testing is needed even if it's only been 6 weeks or 8 weeks? Some people might hear that and assume that they are free and clear when in fact they might not be causing them to spread the virus. P.S. What is a worried well? I thought the term was worry wart?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

The vast majority of HIV-infected folks will have detectable anti-HIV antibodies by six-eight weeks. However, the guidelines still stand: testing prior to three months is not considered definitive or conclusive.

You ask "how encouraging" an 8.5-week negative test is. The best answer I can give is "very encouraging." There are no more exact or specific statistical estimates I can give you.

A worried wart is someone who is a chronic worrier. A worried well is a bit of an oxymoron. Kind of like compassionate conservative. A worried well is someone who is worried, but who, in reality, is actually well. Perhaps a better term would be "worry wart well," but that's difficult to pronounce and "worry well wart" sounds like a dermatologic condition. Hence, "worried well."

Good luck on your definitive three-month test.

Dr. Bob



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