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internet ordered hiv tests

Apr 9, 2006

Dear Robert,

Thank you for providing this invalable service to the public. I've read some of your answers to to other peoples ?'s and you are very uplifting and positive and have a great personality.

How reliable are those hiv tests you order over the internet? I've ordered from two companies -Sanitoets that appears to be based in south africa and Mirates that appears to be mased in the Netherlands.

I had a rash that was diagnosed by a doctor to be Pityriasis Rosea that I began to notice 2 1/2 weeks ago. I had no other symptoms. The doctor told me it was a skin disorder that affects predominantly people aged 15-35 and in the sping and fall season. I am 37. Anytime I see a rash, i think hiv, so i tested myself with two home tests i ordered over the internet. The mirates one came up negative, but the sanitoets one had an ever so barely noticable faint line in the T line suggesting a possible weak positive.

Freaked out, I went this morning to do a to do an FDA approved Enzyme-Linked Immunosrbent Assay Test at a meidcal office and that test came up negative. They said they spin the blood to get at the serum and therefor the test is more accurate than those internet tests. I'm still pretty freaked out anywayand can't eat I'm so nervous. I did a whole array of std tests using the same blood they drew and came up negative for syphillus as well but positive for chlamydia and herpes1/2. I've never had a genital herpes outbreak and only once had a mouth outbreak over 10 years ago.

I know those interntet tests are illegal in the US, but I've been using them to test myself and partners before we have sexual relations (i know of the antibody window period, but thought that this would reduce the risk).

In the past year I've had sexual relations with 8 different women. (none were postitiutes) I know I'm way to promiscuous and plan on stopping this immediatiely.

If you could answer these 3 ?'s, i would be ever so grateful. 1) Which hiv test result should I believe in? 2) Am I playing russian roulette with these internet tests? (I think i should just glove up and stop with these tests) 3) is pityriasis rosea in anyway linked to hiv?

Yhanks again for your great service and weather or not you answer my ?, I will make a generous contribution to your cause.

Truly Yours, worried in new york

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Worried in New York,

Non-FDA-approved HIV tests are non-approved for a reason. And that reason is often they are unreliable. I would strongly advise against using them, particularly because FDA-approved tests are readily available.

To specifically address your three questions:

1. Believe the FDA-approved ELISA.

2. If you are having unprotected sex, you are playing sexual Russian roulette, no matter what tests you are using (because of the window period). Using non-FDA-approved HIV tests is a waste of money, as they are unreliable.

3. No. Pityriasis Rosea is an extremely common skin condition. It is not linked to HIV by anything other than coincidence.

So, Worried in New York, your worries are unwarranted. Just remember to wrap your stump before you hump and you'll stay well.

Thank you for your donation! ( Your gift is urgently needed and warmly appreciated.

Stay safe. Stay well.

Dr. Bob


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