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Autoimmune Dieseases and the Window period
Jun 27, 2007

Hi Guy,

You the man! That's why I'm asking you. Can autoimmune dieseases lengthen the 6 month window period? To 12 months? I read it on the net but now can't find the stupid page to send along.

Thanks D

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello D,

"Autoimmune diseases" encompass a wide array of disorders, many of which are quite rare. What they all have in common is that the person's immune system attacks the body's own cells, causing tissue destruction of one sort or another. It is difficult to make blanket statements about such a varied and extensive list of conditions, many of which are still incompletely understood. However, in general I would say no! Autoimmune diseases would not be expected to alter the window period duration. There are rare reported cases of autoimmune diseases causing false-positive HIV tests (cross-reacting autoantibodies in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus, for example), but I am not aware of any reports of autoimmune diseases delaying HIV-specific antibody production, thereby extending the window period.

Dr. Bob



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