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antibody test vs rna
Jun 27, 2008

hello Doc first off i want to start off by saying you are the man!!! second i had a very high risk exposure i had unprotected vaginal sex with a prostitute who was later confirmed positive in vietnam stupid i know..... i blacked out but anyways my question to you is i have been tested 8,10,12,15,21,22 weeks it has all come back negative the test i used was elisa and orasure rapids now since my exsposure was in vietnam and i have read that there hiv strains are way different than the us would an antibody test be able to pick it up? since the antibody tests look directly for antibodys would it really matter about the strain or do different strains have different antibodys? i have tested up to 5 months do i need to go back at 6 to be extra sure i am still having symptoms to this day painless ulcers in mouth itchy legs follicolitis rash easily bruising etc i know your a busy man doc but i will drop a $100 donation asap thank you

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

The current CDC recommendations for HIV screening following a significant sexual exposure with a partner confirmed to be HIV positive is to get an HIV-antibody test at the three- and six-month marks. You've had six negative tests out to five months. This is certainly extremely encouraging (and highly excessive). If you want the CDC level of assurance you are HIV negative, you would need to get a test at six months. However, considering your testing history to date, the odds are now beyond astronomical that you did not contract HIV from this lapse in judgment in Vietnam. Your fears about different viral strains in Vietnam are unwarranted. PCR RNA testing is not recommended for routine HIV screening, due to the rate of false-positives, other technical considerations and cost.

My advice is that you start practicing your wild and wooly WOO-HOO! and to look elsewhere for the cause of any ongoing symptoms.

Thank you for your donation to the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org). In return, I'm sending you my good-luck karma that your definitive six-month test remains negative. I'm very confident it will.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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