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Looking for permission to WOO-HOO Dr. Bizzob
Aug 24, 2005

I cannot believe I just tested negative. I was, and still am convinced I am HIV Positive. I have had every symptom and then some, and am still suffering. I even had a severe flu-like illness 5 weeks after exposure which put me in the hospital. Anyway, here is my testing history: I tested negative on an ELISA 1 month after exposure. Me and my girlfriend both tested negative 2 months after (ELISA). And I just tested negative today, 5 months later, with a rapid test. Is this conclusive? Is a rapid test just as good as an ELISA? Am I really negative? Do I need to test again? And most importantly...can I WOO-HOO? Please help me. I plan on taking ELISAs at 6 months, and 1 year just to be sure. Should I? Am I in the clear? Please help.

Peace, PA's Finest

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello PA's Finest,

Prince Albert's finest???

As I have said numerous times in this forum, symptoms are notoriously unreliable in predicting HIV disease. Symptoms, no matter what they are, do not equal HIV disease. You are a perfect example of this.

To answer your specific questions:

1. Yes, repeatedly testing negative out to five months is conclusive.

2. FDA-approved rapid tests are indeed as reliable as ELISAs. The only catch is that while negative rapid test results are considered to be definitive (unless tested during the window period), tests with positive results should be confirmed with a Western Blot or immunofluorescence assay.

3. Are you really negative? Yep!

4. Do you need to test again? Nope! But the choice to do so is always yours.

5. Can you WOO-HOO? Absofrickinlutely!

6. Should you take six-month and one-year ELISA tests? Personally I do not believe they are necessary.

7. Are you in the clear? From HIV? Yes, you are. From anxiety and irrational fear? Apparently not.

Dr. Bob



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