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Should I waste time and money on yet another test?

Apr 13, 2006

Dr. Bob,

I have been reading this site for several months now and must say thank you for the excellent service that you provide to all the worried folks that come seeking your advice. I also applaud you for being outspoken in your political beliefs. I too follow a liberal/progressive ideology and dream of a day where a Bush is planted back in Texas.

Now on to my question.. i'm a twenty-four year old male and around four months ago I was involved in a sexual relationship with my girlfriend at the time (now ex-girlfriend). During this time period we had unprotected vaginal sex probably around eight or nine times in total. I spoke with her and she told me that she had been tested previous to being with me. I also told her that I had been tested previous to being with her and I was also clean. Anyways, just because I know this is a girl that has been promiscuous in her past, and I really wasn't sure if I could completely trust her to begin with, I decided to get tested at the one month mark just to be certain. It came back negative. Now I know that you suggest for everybody to get tested at the three month mark, but would it even be worth my time and money to be tested again? I ask this because I know that unprotected insertive vaginal carries one of the lower risks of transmission. How reliable is a test one month out on a percentage basis? I haven't really had any symptoms other than headaches and slight fever that I seem to have been having everyday for about the past two months and I really think those are related to my lack of exercise and poor diet. Does what I have described sound HIV related to you? I'm at the four month mark now so i'm assuming it would be a conclusive test if I were to have it done. So what do you think? Should I trust that my ex told the truth and skip on another test? Am I being a hypochondriac?

I would also like to hear your opinion on testing methods. I would personally prefer to have an OraSure test done if I do decide to test again because I absolutely hate having blood drawn. The problem is that I have no idea where to go for OraSure testing. I'm guessing that it isn't very popular? Also how reliable is OraSure as compared to Home Access?

Thank you for your time and please know that I do plan on making a generous donation to your foundation soon.

Response from Dr. Frascino


Let me try to respond to your many questions:

1. Unprotected sex does place you at some degree of risk for STDs, including HIV. The estimated per-act risk for acquisition of HIV from unprotected insertive penile-vaginal sex with a partner confirmed to be HIV positive is 5 per 10,000 exposures. Your estimated risk would be less because we do not know the serostatus of your "ex."

2. HIV-antibody tests taken prior to three months are not considered conclusive or definitive. Consequently the only thing I can tell you about your one-month test is that it's encouraging, but not definitive or conclusive. Since you've placed yourself at risk, a three-month test is warranted.

3. Your symptoms are not suggestive of HIV ARS. However, symptoms (or no symptoms) are not the reason to consider testing. The reason to test is HIV risk (unprotected sex).

4. As for "trusting" sexual partners, personally, even if they strapped a lie detector on their love canal or Mr. Happy, I wouldn't believe them. Use a condom to prevent future worries!

5. OraSure is extremely popular. Since we started offering it at the Frascino Medical Group, it's been one of the most requested services we have available. Call your local AIDS service organizations. They should be able to tell you where the test is available locally. You can read all about the test's sensitivity and specificity in the archives of this forum. Suffice it to say it is as reliable as other testing techniques, including Home Access.

6. Thanks for your donation (

7. Regarding Bush and his henchmen, if they were any more stupid, they'd have to be watered twice a week. To paraphrase Raymond Chandler, if brains were elastic, these guys wouldn't have enough to make suspenders for a parakeet.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

Could this be HIV related
Thanks for the response-April 3

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