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CBC and HIV
Aug 5, 2007

If a CBC cant rule out nor suggest possible HIV why is it that when you are hiv positive they request a CBC. With a CBC they check for various blood counts, therefore if these blood counts appear somewhat abnormal before an HIV test is done would that not trigger the Doctor to do further checking therefore making the patient aware of abnormalities with their CBC

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Nope!

Complete blood counts are very useful tests for diagnosing many conditions, but HIV is not one of them! For instance, a CBC can be helpful in diagnosing anemia (low red blood cells). However, it does not tell you the cause of the anemia. If a doctor ran a CBC and diagnosed you with anemia, he would not then suggest you had HIV! Rather, he would look for common causes of anemia, such as iron deficiency, vitamin B12 or folate deficiency, blood loss, hereditary conditions associated with anemia, etc., etc., etc. The only way to know if you're HIV infected is to get an HIV test. It really is just that simple. Don't expect your doctor to infer a diagnosis from tests not designed for that purpose. Such games are immature and really won't decrease your anxiety about possible HIV disease. If you've placed yourself at risk, get tested. Period. There are no other options.

Dr. Bob



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