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Made donation just now
Aug 19, 2006

The first time I attempted to make a donation I couldn't get it to work right -the second time it worked - sorry about that. My question was about the Home Access test. I tested with Home Access at 3, 6, and 10 months post exposure to a hiv positive female. The vaginal intercourse was protected, however she performed oral sex on me which was not protected. How accurate is the Home Access test -really? Is it better to go to a doctor's office and get a tube of blood drawn? The blood sample sent to Home Access is dry by the time it gets there for analysis -can that affect results has opposed to a fresh blood sample given at the doctors office? I've heard there is no guarantee when antibodies can show up in your system, sometimes up to a year later - is a 12month test necessary? thanks much for your help.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

How accurate is the Home Access test really? I'd say it's really, really accurate! Is it better to go to a doctor's office and get blood drawn? Not really if all you're concerned about is test accuracy. Home Access test sensitivity and specificity approaches 100%. The difference between the mail-order versus physician office- or clinic-based testing would involve pre- and post-test counseling. (Counseling is available for Home Access clients who test positive, but over-the-phone counseling may not be as effective.)

Finally, regarding how much testing is enough testing, for your HIV risk (unprotected oral/protected vaginal with an HIV-positive woman) I would have counseled your three-month test would have been sufficient, assuming the latex condom was used properly and did not fail. Even if there was some question about condom use or integrity, I would have then said your negative six-month test would have been conclusive. The 10-month test wasn't necessary and merely corroborated what we already knew. (Had you requested this test in a physician's office, the pre-test counseling would most likely have informed you that the test wasn't warranted.)

So should you get a 12-month test? Nope! It's not at all necessary, although I'm sure the Home Access folks would be delighted to collect your money and advise you of yet another negative result. Why not skip all that unnecessary cost and bother and just yell WOO-HOO??? I can tell you with absolutely certainly HIV is not your problem. No way. No how.

Thanks for your donation (www.concertedeffort.org). It's warmly appreciated.

Stay well!

Dr. Bob



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