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pLEASE ANSWER-i've already donated
Jan 4, 2006

Is one negative at four months conclusive?

Dear Dr Bob, I come to you in need of direction after several weeks of worry followed by confusion. I had what seemed to be a protected experience a few months back using two condoms, betraying my wife in the process. I dont remember them splitting. There was some fingering involved and the womans status was unknown although she claims shes negative. After a few months of uncertaintly, I decided to take a test and took a HIV1&2 ag+ab combo four months after exposure. It came back negative. I was releived with that and then people started telling me that the window period is 3-6 months and I should test at 6 months to be sure. I began searching again and it led me into confusion followed by the same old worry. I came upon the term worried well but if someone is told one thing by one medical professional and another thing by another, doesnt it In my country, they consider 3 months to be definitive and if it isnt, they are risking positives who think they are negatives. Your site mentioned that the CDC have made 6 months its guidelines. I went to their website and it said that 3% take longer than 3 months to seroconvert. That seems like a lot. Isnt that 3 out of every 100? So, with different people saying different things I would really like some clarification from you. Hiv is something that, despite national borders, should be treated as central to our fears and concerns as a species. We are all the same in that respect and if opinion on Hiv is political then where do we go in terms of science and medical safety.

1. In my experience, have I been at enough risk to be worried? 2. Is the test HIV1&2 ag+ab combo reliable? Is it the same as the ELISA? 3. I have heard that lambskin condoms cant protect from Hiv. Are these commonly sold? Im sure what I was using were latex condoms but would I know if it was lambskin. I bought them from the front counter in a 7-11.\ 4. Do you have any idea how many people have taken longer than 3 months? How can the CDC just say rare and then come up with a figure like 3%?

Bob, I know you must get questions like this all the time. Ill make my donation to you chairty. Please answer.

Health and happiness for 2006

Joe

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Joe,

Let me address your specific questions first:

1. No, you should not be worried.

2. Yes, the test is reliable and yes, it is an ELISA.

3. True, lambskin condoms do not protect against HIV. Yes, they are commonly sold. Brand names include Fourex Natural Skins and Ramses. Yes, you would probably know if the condom you were using was lambskin. They feel different.

4. In my experience, very few. As for CDC's statistics, I suggest you ask them.

To sum up, do I feel your negative four-month test following a double condom-protected sex episode is conclusive? Yes, absofrickinlutely!

You are indeed a worried well. That means you're both worried (for no reason) and well (without a doubt).

Thank you for your donation. (www.concertedeffort.org)

Dr. Bob



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