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CBC Results Normal after one year of possible HIV exposition?
Jun 13, 2008

I am a male of 16 years and I had a possible exposition of HIV, one year ago. Recently, I had a CBC made for the college. And the results were pretty normal: WBC 7.1, RBC 5.55, HTC 47.9, PLT 229, LYMPH% 43%. My question is: With this results, I could know if I'm HIV positive?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

CBC (complete blood count) tests cannot be used to diagnose HIV disease. The only way to diagnose HIV disease is to get a specific test for the virus. (See below.)

Dr. Bob

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

CBC with a twist.... Aug 17, 2005

Dear Doc, PLEASE RESPOND TO THIS QUESTION. I have desperately been asking you questions the last few weeks and would really appreciate an answer on this last question (which I do promise this will be the last question if you answer). I have tested negative out to 18 weeks using the 2nd generation Oraquick Rapid Advance HIV1/2 test. 17 weeks after last exposure (one week before last negative test) I began to experience: -Mild headaches on the left side of my brain that would come and go throughout the day. -Mouth sores that heal themselves within 5-6 days after they appear. -Excess mucus in the back of my throat, but not sore what so ever. -Tingling on the scalp, lasting only a few seconds at a time and went away after the first week. Three weeks later all the symptoms persist(except tingling), and now I have a deep cough, but still no sore throat. I went to my doctor and he did a CBC. I told him of my HIV concern and he said that it is a very remote possibilty of HIV, but very unlikely and that a CBC test could tell us if my body is fighting A virus (not HIV particularly, just some type of virus) and that we could do further testing once we got the result back. The results came back today and EVERYTHING was normal. Thankfully. So I really just want a second opinion on this. I have read hundreds of times in the forums that CBC tests cannot determine if you have HIV, which makes complete sense, but given the fact that I was experiencing some symptoms (not neccessarily ARS by any means), if the symptoms were caused by a virus in my body, then the CBC test would show abnormal results, right? So in conclusion, since the test came back negative, I can assume that these symptoms are not caused by a virus (therefore not caused by ARS nor HIV). Am I an idiot for thinking this? I could really use some piece of mind. Please don't tell me that I already knew I was negative from the 18 week test, because I had accepted the fact I was negative, but the symptoms started my paranoia right back up again. I think what you do is an amazing service to the world and I truly believe you deserve some sort of MAJOR humanitarian award. I wish the best of luck in your future endevours and all the success with your foundation.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Another QTND (Question That Never Dies). No matter how you "twist" a CBC result, it can not be used to diagnose or rule out the possibility of HIV infection. Sorry.

Thanks for your kind comments.

Dr. Bob



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