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HIv 2- please reply , third time i've posted

Nov 1, 2006

Firstly would like to say what a great forum you have and I will be making a donation for you to continue your great work.

My question relates to hiv testing and hiv 2.I had my test done and back back neg agter 15 weeks . as far as I understood I was tested for hiv1 and hiv 2 and all known strains to the virus. I,ve read from not just you forum but other forums that there is a different test for hiv1 and hiv 2 in particular.this is very confusing to me. Does the test that gets done depend on country or area you stay in and you get tested for most commom strain in that particular country.If that is the case that is the most obscene thing I have ever heard, because they are not helping to curb the spread of the virus then?they could potentially send someone awat that is infected.Does the modern day test detect all strains of the hiv virus and once you get a neg can is that then 100% percent accurate after the window period.

Regards

Concerned

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

You can read about the differences between HIV-1 and HIV-2 in the archives. Briefly, HIV-2 is primarily found in West Africa. It is less transmissible and associated with lower viral loads and slower rates of CD4 decline and disease progression compared to the much more common HIV-1.

HIV-1 is divided into subtypes designated A to K (collectively referred to as "M subtypes") and O. There are also circulating recombinant forms of HIV. Subtype O is related to M (55% to 70% homology). In addition, a new group of viruses labeled "N" (for "new") has been reported. Subtypes O and N are found primarily in West Africa. Standard HIV blood tests detect M subtypes (A-K) of HIV-1; some also detect HIV-2. Standard tests can fail to detect O and N subtypes.

To determine exactly what type of testing you had performed, you would need to contact the physician or clinic that performed the test. There is nothing "obscene" about HIV testing. The best way to "curb the spread of the virus" is to use a latex condom.

Good luck. Stay well.

Dr. Bob



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