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Converting After One Year- Resubmitted from Fatigue and Anaemia

Jun 5, 2006

Hi Dr Bob, I am a little concerned over something. I was tested for HIV doing a blood test at 5 months after exposure then again at 7 months, both were negative. However, the person I was with developed a severe flu like illness after a few times of us having unprotected sex. I was with someone else about one month prior to this person which would make my last test negative at 10 months. I realise this is a long time and would pick it up if I had HIV, but I read somewhere that some people cantake upto one year to seroconvert? I mean, is it possible this has happened to me and that's why the second partner came down with the flu? It's funny how they say 6 months is the cutting off period but then they say saome people can seroconvert after one year - everyone's different, so which do you believe?


Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Charlotte,

There's an old saying in medical school: "when you hear hoof steps, think horses, not zebras!" In other words, extremely rare things, like being trampled by a herd of zebras while living in downtown Manhattan, are possible but would only happen extremely rarely.

In your case, you have tested HIV negative out to seven months. That's definitive and conclusive! You are HIV negative. HIV is not your problem. No way. No how.

That a more recent partner of yours developed a "flu-like illness" is easily explained. He most likely had the flu! After all, the "flu" is the most common cause of "flu-like symptoms" by a long shot! (Horses, not zebras, remember!!!)

My only concern in your post is that you are having "unprotected sex." That, of course, puts you at risk for STDs, including HIV. Why not just use condoms and avoid all unnecessary risk and subsequent worries of horses or zebras?

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

risk of HIV infection from
superinfection with low viral load

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