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Rape Survivor - Hi Dr, Bob! It's me again!
Jul 5, 2008

I've read a previous question from another one of your doctors on thebody.com. She mentioned that a HIV NEGATIVE test at 13 weeks is not conclusive until 6 months?

I am now worried again! I am the one who posted previous about my situation. My attacker tested Negative 3 months ago when I reported him to the police. I tested Negative at 13 weeks and 3 days, later. I am definitely confident to take another test, but do I have to wait till 6 months for a conclusive & definite result!? I am confused as to why one doctor says 3 months is definite and the other says 6 months on the same website? I am just a bit worried because I tested negative, but I am still having this cough symptom. So, is 13 weeks and 3 days definite?

Worried again,

BTW, I donated to your HIV/AIDS foundation. Thank you Dr. Bob!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Unfortunately, I cannot explain other doctors' comments or suggestions. (See below.) I stand by my assessment and advice. I'll reprint your original question and my response below as well.

Dr. Bob

QUICK & EASY - WINDOW PERIOD OPINION Mar 29, 2008

Dear Dr. Bob,

Some other MD's like Dr. HHH al medhelp.org says that a negative antibody test taken at weeks 6-8 is nearly 100% accurate. Why does he say that?? Do you agree with him??

I've seen in several posts answered by him, how in low-to-non-risk situation people is sent home free with a 6-8 negative test.

i know what you are going to tell me .. and the three month mark .. and everything.. I just want your medical opinion regarding what doctor HHH say: ~100% accurate @ weeks 6-8. Do you agree with him??

Txs doc My best wishes for you.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

I cannot explain another physician's opinion. You'll have to ask him to justify his statements if you don't agree with them. I base my comments on sound scientific research and personal experience.

Regarding HIV-antibody tests, the vast majority of HIV-infected individuals will have detectable levels of anti-HIV antibodies in their blood within six to eight weeks. There is no disagreement on that point. The published guidelines recommend a window period of three months. Ultimately, as our testing techniques continue to improve and become more widely available to testing sites worldwide, the published guidelines may well shorten the window period. Some specific testing sites (Australia) have published guidelines with shorter window periods based on their testing methods. However, so far the national guidelines in the U.S. and most international guidelines as well continue to recommend three months. One could make the argument that even if HIV testing catches "the vast majority" or even "nearly 100%" of HIV-positives, that is not good enough when dealing with an illness as catastrophic as HIV/AIDS. So whether it's Dr. HHH, Dr. Phil, Dr. Seuss or Dr. Bob, you can choose to believe whomever you please, but I urge you to look at the rational behind the statements and not compare apples with oranges. Statements taken out of context can appear to be conflicting when in reality the opinions actually are quite consistent, which I think is the case here.

Dr. Bob

Rape Survivor - HIV NEGATIVE at 3 months/13 weeks? Jul 2, 2008

I (I'm a female) was raped by a formal friend who tested HIV negative and is with the police. I developed all the anxiety symptoms.. but at 2 months, I started coughing with a sore throat. I had no fever, no swollen lymph nodes for 3 months, nothing that could indicate the flu other than a cough, sneeze, and sore throat. I got tested at 1 week, 7 week, and 13 weeks and 3 days. All negative!

Is this persistent cough that is still with me HIV conversion at 13 weeks and 3 days or can I move on with my life for good?

Thank you so much!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Whether your attacker was a "formal friend" or former friend, I'm glad he's been apprehended by the authorities.

Your HIV fears are unwarranted. Your attacker tested HIV negative and you've had three negative HIV tests out to 13 weeks. Therefore, even if your attacker was in his window period (the time between exposure to the virus and the development of enough anti-HIV antibodies to be detected by HIV-antibody tests), you have tested beyond this period (3 months). Consequently you are definitively and conclusively HIV negative. Moving on with life can be difficult after something as traumatic as rape; however, you can now rest assured that HIV is not your problem. No way. No how. OK?

Dr. Bob



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