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Tested Negative at 11 weeks but what the heck???

Oct 24, 2006

Hi Dr. Bob,

I am a big fan of your column. I don't know what to say, but to thank you for doing all this for people like me!! This is actually the second time I wrote you. I will really appreciate your answer and will definitely donate a good amount of money to your foundation.

I had 3 sexual encouters with 3 different women approximately 11 weeks before my ELISA test, which turned out negative. Two of them I have contacted and had them test for HIV, which turned out to be negative. (Last time they had sex before with me should be well beyond 12 weeks) However, there's this one stubbon woman who said she's perfectly healthy and doesn't need to get HIV test. Btw, what I did with her was deep-kissing her mouth, her breast (nipples), and receiving unprotected oral. i didn't notice any blood or open sores in her mouth. But how can I be sure???

To cut the story short, I got a negative result at 11 weeks. I thought I could "Woohoo"; however, the following week, I developed some weird stuff in my mouth: - A lot of elevated pink small spots or bumps on the middle of my tongue (They are not open sore or ulcers, and they don't hurt.) -A very noticeable pink spot on soft palate. It looks like bloodclot, not open sore.

Anyway, I never had these before in my life!!! My questions to you are:

1) How long do the symptoms of primary HIV infection last? (I keep worrying about a variety of my new weekly symptoms for 2-3 weeks now; I just noticed the things in my mouth this week-after the test)

2) Based on the symptoms I described above, are they oral manifestations of primary HIV infection? (Before the test, I got series of sore throat, skin rash, fever, but none of those oral symptoms)

3) How long does it take for the body to develop antibody after experiencing seroconversion symptoms?

4) Lastly, what is my risk of HIV after testing negative at 11 weeks? (I know testing before 3 months is not inclusive, and in some case, antibody is developed after 6 months)

My parents sent me to study in the U.S. 10 years ago and now I'm a professional working in a finance industry in NYC. I hate myself so much right now for what I have done. I think about my parents and I don't really want to ruin their lives with my sickness.

Dr. Bob, please help answer my questions. I will be very thankful and will definitely make donation to your foundation.


P.S. I apologize for long questions and my English.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Kevin,

1. Acute Retroviral Syndrome (ARS) symptom severity and duration vary considerably from person to person and are dependent on many factors viral strain, host immune response, concurrent infections, etc. Generally ARS lasts 2-3 weeks and is followed by a 2-4-week period of recovery and seroconversion.

2. Nope!

3. Again there is some variability here, but in general recovery from ARS and the development of detectable levels of anti-HIV antibodies (seroconversion) occur 2-4 weeks following ARS.

4. Your negative 11-week test is very encouraging; however, as you know, antibody tests taken prior to the three-month mark are not considered conclusive (not "inclusive," by the way) or definitive.

Kevin, your English is excellent and you should not hate yourself for your indiscretions. We all make mistakes, even yours truly. That's what makes us humans. (And since Dubya never ever admits he makes mistakes, we can assume he's really not human, which might just explain his inability to speak clearly or think rationally.) What's most important is that we recognize our mistakes, accept the consequences of our actions and learn from our indiscretions. I'm quite confident you have indeed learned your lesson. I'm equally confident your 12-week definitive HIV test will be negative. Thanks for your willingness to make a tax-deductible donation to The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation ( In return I'm sending my best good-luck/good-health karma that your definitive three-month test remains negative!

Be well. Stay well.

Dr. Bob

God Bless Mark Foley

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