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ELISA: 2 years on oral prednisone
Nov 13, 2006

Hi, Dr. Bob, Firstly, My warmest thanks for all you do. I wish you many years ahead of the best health: here's to a cure!

I am seriosuly asthmatic. Had vaginal exposure to a woman who said after that she had slept with an HIV poz guy a couple of years ahead, but kept defaulting on testing when I asked her too. She said HIV is not heterosexually transmitted to guys and her stupidity or bad faith worries me.

My Q is this: I have been on long term high dose prednisone (15 mgs every alterante day for 2 years, plus Advair and daily use of 20 mgs prednisone when a asthma fulminates).

How will this affect the reliability of an ELISA 3 months after exposure? I have a range of symptoms now, tongue lesions, painful nodes, pharyngitis, high pulse rate, neuromuscular issues.

How reliable would a pcr and elisa be at 3 months? Would negative results exclude HIV?

Thanks very much!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

She said, "HIV is not heterosexually transmitted to guys?????" WOWZA! That would come as quite a surprise to the vast majority of the 40,000,000 currently infected HIVers in the world today. Where did you find dimwit? At a G.O.P. fundraiser?

Regarding your use of corticosteroids and their possible immunosuppressive effect on antibody production, the answer depends on many variables, including how often your asthma "fulminated," necessitating the daily 20 mg. of prednisone boost prior to your having an ELISA test performed. Certainly if both an ELISA and PCR were negative at three months, your results would be considered definitive, as PCR plasma viral load studies are not dependent on anti-HIV antibody production.

Finally, the most important lesson to learn is that you need to always protect yourself with latex condoms and water-based lubricants to avoid conundrums like your current situation in the future, OK? Also, I would avoid G.O.P. fundraisers in the search for shagable bedmates, as these events are choc-o-bloc full of clueless ditsy divas, like Katherine Harris and the Stepford-like blondes who report the "news" on Fox.

Good luck. Be well.

Dr. Bob



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