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pcr test reliability at around six months
Apr 3, 2007

Hi doc. I would just like to start off by saying i think it is incredible that you guys have this website and valuable life changing information available to people who desperately need it. I ask that if there is anyway you could please answer my question because this has just taken over my life for the past six months and i really want to move on and get my life back I have have been through the most traumatic six months of my life and i am just really hoping that you can please help me out. I had sex for the last time about six months ago with a girl who im not sure of her hiv status (im a male). The condom broke and since then i have been having what seems to be all the symptoms of hiv. I know that you can't diagnose through symptoms but it just makes it so hard to let it go when the symptoms bother you everyday. I was diagnosed to have molluscum contagiousm about a couple weeks later. over the last couple months i have noticed i have a red rash on the side of my penis and on the scrotum which comes and goes by the minute it seems. I have also had two sores on my chest that one of them lasted for about three months and the other i am still struggling with now and have been for about the last month. I have also noticed a clear liquid discharge from the penis but no painful urination and also a constant mostness of my anus which i saw three purple lumps which i figured may be hemerrhoids. i have also had swollen lymph nodes in my neck and groin for about the last four months. I guess to get to the point my questions are. 1)I had an antibody test at 3 months and at six months both negative. then had a pcr dna about a week after the second elisa at six months. is it possible that the ab test may not have been detactable yet and combined with the pcr that my viral load was not high enough yet at six months to be detected. 2) i know the ab test is the gold standard but i just really am thinking i just havent formed antibodies yet. so if all these symptoms were in fact hiv related do you think that my viral load would then be high enough to test positive. 3) my last question is if you know if it is very rare to have swollen lymph nodes for more than for months and if the molluscum could be causeing it even 6 months after picking up the virus even though all bumps are gone. sorry one more i was wondering how accurate a penile culture would be for genital herpes by the way i had a screeining for chlymidia gonnhorea hep. b syphillis and herpes as well all came back negative. You are a true saint and should be very proud of the work you have done and so many lifes you have changed. thank you very much(sorry about the lenght i just didnt want to leave anything out).

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

HIV is not your problem. No way. No how. To briefly answer your questions:

1. No, that is not possible.

2. In essence, this is exactly the same question as #1 above!

3. This question is nonsensical, because you did not "pick up the virus."

4. I can't determine exactly what type of "penile culture" you are referring to. However, the standard STD screening tests for genital herpes are very accurate.

Your HIV worries are completely unwarranted. Your symptoms are not consistent with HIV. It's time you seek counseling for your irrational HIV fears and help with your anxiety.

Stop worrying about a disease you could not possibly have!

Dr. Bob



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