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Is ten years too late? I'm afraid!
Jul 18, 2008

Hello doctor.. I am 3000 miles from home and am worried about an "exposure" i had ten years ago. Without boring you with details, is an ORAQUICK rapid test still accurate ten years after an exposure. I read that these tests look for antigens that fight the virus. What if my body stopped making them years ago.. am i being silly. Please help with any advice you can. By the way.. the test was negative, but i am still worried.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

You're worried about getting tested now for an "exposure" from a decade ago?!? What did you major in during college, "avoidance behaviors," perhaps?

Regarding HIV screening tests, including OraQuick, these assays check for antibodies directed specifically against HIV. Antibodies are proteins made by the immune system in response to infection. If you were infected with HIV, you would remain HIV-antibody positive throughout the course of the illness. Your fears about OraQuick (or any HIV-antibody test) not still being accurate 10 years after an exposure are unwarranted.

My advice is get tested and stop worrying. It's way, way, way overdue.

Dr. Bob



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