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What's the story with HIV-0

Jun 17, 2006

Hi Dr. Bob...

I don't have the words to say what an inspiration you are. In the words of Jack Nicholson's character in "As Good As It Gets", you make me want to be a better person. For now I'm going to start with writing a check to you and the wonderful work you do! Thank you!

Here's my question. I have heard that there is a strain of HIV out there that is not detected by the HIV-1/HIV-2 tests, which is why the Red Cross asks people who have lived in certain parts of Africa not to donate blood. I was recently tested with the quick test for HIV-1/HIV-2 and am negative (Woo-Hoo!). But 20 years ago, I was on vacation in the Caribbean and had one of those (safe sex) "Stella got her groove back" experiences with a guy that I know was from North Africa. Should I be tested for HIV-O?

Many thanks!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Stella,

I see absolutely no cause for concern and no reason for additional testing. First off, if the sex was "safe sex," there shouldn't be any significant risk. Next, your Caribbean sexual samba was with a North African groovy guy 20 years ago. Your subsequent negative HIV-1/HIV-2 quick test covers you for all potential pertinent HIV strains. So just think back to those island days and start singing the Bobby McPherin classic hit, "Don't Worry, Be Happy," OK?

Thanks for your kind comments and tax-deductible gift! As for my being Jack Nicholson's character in "As Good as it Gets," wasn't he a cantankerous, homophobic, obsessive-compulsive??? Can't I be the hunky gay neighbor (Greg Kinnear) instead?

Stay well!

Dr. Bob

handsome dr bob
PEP for risk exposure

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