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strains of hiv and seroconversion
Apr 17, 2008

Hi Dr. Bob-

I have searched the archives and couldn't find the exact answer I was looking for. First of all let me say that I have become an active reader of your site and it has not only helped me get through a very scary and sad time in my life, but also educated me to the point where I feel knowledgable about hiv/aids. My question- Is seroconversion the same for all strains of hiv? Will it approximately happen at the same time for all strains? Will symptoms be the same for all strains? I think I mean all strains by hiv2, typeN and typeO. Why I am asking is because I feel I am finally able to accept I am not infected with hiv1, because it has been 9 months since my last possible exposure(unprotected vaginal sex with unknown status of male partner, I am female.) Negative Home Access Test to Hiv1. I became very consumed with the thought that I was infected to the point that I tested every month for the last 9 months via Home Access, saw a psychiatrist for anxiety and depression, and saw my regular Family Practice Physician for antidepressants. Between all of these interventions and the amount of time that has past with a negative test result now, I feel confident I am not infected with Hiv1, but now am curious about the other strains? Please take the time to answer me. I don't want to become consumed with this now too! Thank you so much in advance and I hope you are doing well. You are a brave and inspirational man!!

sincerely, nb

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello nb,

You tested HIV negative every month for the last nine months, got antidepressants from your family practice doctor and saw a psychiatrist for anxiety and now you are worrying whether extremely rare strains and types of HIV (HIV-2, type N, type O) might have different time courses for seroconversion or different symptoms??? Hmm . . . sweetie, have you checked the expiration date on those antidepressants? And is there any chance you can get a refund on those visits to the shrink's couch?

To answer your question, all strains and types of HIV follow the same basic timeline for seroconversion and symptoms. Your fears and worries continue to be completely unwarranted.

I'd suggest you immediately swap your worries for a WOO-HOO!

Dr. Bob



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