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Wrong information?
Apr 27, 2006

Dear Doc Ive already asked you a question in the past.Im from Brazil and put myself into a risk situation about 6 years ago (insertive without condom several times with my +partner - he did not know his status by tht time). Here in Brazil, until 2004, labs used to screen for hiv using 2 tests. At 6 months test, one of them was indeterminate and the other one was negative; as a commom procedure they re-tested in duplicate with the same blood sample and both came positive (I had a friend working at the laboratory so thats why I knew what happened - wish I did not know, I can tell you). Ive been tested more than 20 times since then (including a WB last year). ALL NEG!!! I was really happy about your answer last year as you told me that I should not be tested ever again (thinking about that "old" exposure). Youre right and I agree...but, I sometimes keep blaming myself when I think about my own past and every once in a while I check internet for "news", etc, etc. A infectologist (friend of mine) think that everyone whos been potentially exposed should take a PCR. God, help me! I dont know what to do anymore. Im afraid of taking a PCR and that turns out to be a false positive which could drive me crazy. At the same time, I ask myself: "What if theres a really hidden virus inside my body?"Im wasting precious time thinking about it and that is keeping me apart from everyone since I always think that I am supposed to tell every cool guy I meet what happened to me in the past (indeterminate test, relation with someone+, etc). I need your last help! Your answers encourage me and so many others. I hope Im not bothering you. Thank you and best wishes!! Is it possible to make a donation from Brazil? I hope it is!!Please, help me...I cant stand this anymore!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Brazil-Guy,

You are still fretting over that exposure six years ago, even though you've had more than 20 negative tests, including a WB last year???? My assessment has not changed from last year: you are HIV negative. Period. End of story. HIV is not your problem. No way. No how. You do not need, nor would I recommend any additional HIV testing including, in particular, PCR testing! I just can't say it any more directly than that!

I hope your buddy is a better friend than an "infectologist," because the advice he is proposing is not supported by scientific facts, all worldwide HIV-testing guidelines, or common sense!

Get some counseling for your irrational HIV fears (". . . hidden virus inside my body"). Stop chasing and worrying about a disease you could not possibly have. Get the psychological help you need, not more HIV tests that you don't!

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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