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
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!
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