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I tested negative for hiv does this also mean im negative for aids?

Jul 10, 2008

Im a little confused...If you test negative for hiv does that mean you also do not have aids?

Response from Dr. Frascino


Yep, it does appear you are more than a little confused, or at least not well informed. Perhaps you are a victim of home schooling or Dubya's abstinence-only sex education curriculum. At any rate, HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is the germ (virus) that causes the illness. We can tell if someone has contracted HIV disease (the illness) by running a specific test called an HIV-antibody test (ELISA, EIA, rapid test, etc.). It looks for anti-HIV antibodies in blood or oral mucosal fluid. If present, the person is HIV positive (has HIV disease). HIV disease, if untreated, destroys the body's immune system. The diagnosis of AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) is given when HIV damages the immune system to the point that certain criteria are met, such as a CD4 cell count falling below 200 or the development of certain opportunistic illnesses that reflect severe immunodeficiency. That's the long answer to your question. The short answer is yes, if you test negative for HIV, you do not have AIDS (by definition!).

Dr. Bob

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