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Swiss student...I am coming in to see you
Mar 8, 2007

I have been trying very hard to get a response from you. I am terrified. As you may have read before, I got three negative tests after my potential exposure using the Abbott Determine Rapid Test. It was negative at 6, 11, and 15 weeks. The thing is, you may remember, after my potential exposure, I developed a rash which started on my left cheek which had very very small blisters. The rash then spread to my forehead, neck, eyelids, and earlobes, but it didn't have any blisters in those areas. The rash completely went away in 2 weeks. Can I trust the results of the Abbott Determine Rapid Test, or should I come in to your office for the rapid test?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Swiss Stud. (short for student),

I had hoped you would have checked the archives by now, as the response to your question is already there waiting for you.

Briefly, your rash is not consistent with or worrisome for HIV ARS (acute retroviral syndrome) or HIV disease. However, symptoms or absence of symptoms are not the reason to get an HIV test. HIV screening should be done if you've placed yourself at risk for HIV disease, whether or not you have symptoms. The rapid tests you took are not FDA-approved; consequently, I don't have much personal experience with their use or reliability. Certainly Abbott is a well respected company and their "Determine" test is used widely in other countries. I have no real reason to doubt the validity of your negative test at 15 weeks. (Tests taken prior to the three-month mark are not considered to be definitive.) However, if you want the added assurance of an FDA-approved HIV test outside the window period, the option to obtain such testing is certainly open to you. Should you want to take the test at the Frascino Medical Group in Los Altos, just call for an appointment (650-917-1357) and we'll be happy to oblige. You'll have your confirmatory result in 20 minutes, which I have absolute confidence will be WOO-HOOably negative.

Dr. Bob



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