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WW's should read

Nov 12, 2005

Dr Bob, in my 3 months of worried well hell I read almost everything there is to read on HIV. I stumbled across an interesting article i think will help alot of WW's feel better. The article is one of the only studies I could find showing the increased sensitivity of "modern" HIV tests. Also they tested the first generation assay which home access uses (Organon Vironistika Microelisa). I myself used the home access test at 12 weeks and was skeptical of the results (negative)because it was first generation, and detects the IgG response rather than a third generation which can detect the earlier IgM response as well. Nonetheless, ALL tests were positive within 2 weeks of onset of ARS, including the newer first generation tests. It also looks retrospectively at the older test which were significantly less sensitive (p<.01), but still turned positive within 7 weeks of ARS.

I think this study is a good indicator for the reasoning of shortening the window from the older 6 month rec to 3. Also it may make you feel a whole lot better if you tested before this 3 month mark. As a physician/surgeon myself I feel, from the literature on seroconversion available, a 6 week "modern" test may be VERY reliable for a person with a healthy immune system, and not on PEP. A 3 month test is still needed for deinitive results. The only thing about this study is there were only 8 patients in the non-PEP cohort.

What do you think? Have you seen anyone, aquiring infection through sex, seroconvert past 2 months with a modern test. Thanks again and keep up the great work, you really helped me through these past few months.

Response from Dr. Frascino


Thanks for your thanks and for the information provided in your post. Personally it's been many years since I have seen anyone seroconvert beyond three months! (We don't usually get tests prior to that.) I'm quite comfortable recommending that tests at three months or beyond are now definitive, except in rare cases with extenuating circumstances.

Congratulations on your negative test.

Stay well!

Dr. Bob


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