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Is further testing necessary
Jan 4, 2007

Hi Doc, I had a risky exposure(vagina - penis rubbing, but no penetration) about 24 days back. About 2 weeks back I was feeling miserable. I had low grade fever and severe burning and muscular pains in my lower limbs combined with fatigue. Never had such kind of burning in my feet before. So I was thinking it could be Peripheral Neuropathy caused by HIV. I recently had my antibody test done and also PCR-RNA(lower level detection being 50 copies per ml) and both tests came out to be negative. Do I need further testing?Also I had one lingering question for a while... Can HIV spread by sucking on sore nipples of a sex worker? I have recently donated to your charity. Great work. Also, I wish to participate in your charity events and helping out HIV affected people. I live in Palo Alto area and this would be best chance to contribute something to AIDS awareness and helping people living with HIV. Happy New Year and Wonderful Health for everyone. - Thanks Chris

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Chris,

Your HIV risk from your activities rubbing without penetration is essentially nil. Symptoms, such as severe burning muscular pains in the lower limbs" are not characteristic of HIV ARS.

Regarding HIV screening tests, antibody tests taken prior to the three-month mark are not considered to be definitive or conclusive. PCR-RNA tests are not recommended or approved for routine HIV screening due to the false-positive rate, cost and other technical issues. Consequently, at this point, the best I can say is that your negative antibody test is encouraging, but not conclusive or definitive. You'll need an antibody test at three months for a conclusive result.

Regarding "sucking on sore nipples of a sex worker," the HIV risk would be essentially negligible, unless there was visible blood and hopefully you weren't sucking quite that hard!

Thanks for your donation (www.concertedeffort.org). It's warmly appreciated. As for volunteering for our Bay Area charity events, we could always use the help! Just call the foundation office at 650-917-1357 and we'll be happy to add your name to the list of ready, willing and able volunteers! As the need arises, we then give you a call to see if you're available to help out.

For New Years, I'm sending you my very best good-luck/good-health karma that your three-month definitive antibody test is negative!

Be well. Stay well.

Dr. Bob



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