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HIV testing in Germany
Jul 19, 2008

Dear Doc. First of all thank you for the great work you are doing. I had 2 experiences that I feel may have put me at risk - one was with a colleague with whom we had 2 sexual encounters (we used condoms on both occassions - I checked the condoms on both occassions - one still had fluid but on expression seemed to leak. I am not sure if it was the lubricant or actual microscopic tear on the side). The second encounter was with a young man I started to date but I pushed him off at the last minute because I felt it not right to engage in sex as we were drunk (he had put on a condom before - that I remember for sure). Now i am settled in Germany and expectant. But in this country - they only test people if you are a certain race or gay (which really upsets a lot of people - but that is the apparent reality). My question is - how significant were my exposures. Secondly - and given the selective testing in antenatal clinics here - what is the probability of a false positive test? Please answer Dr. Bob. I will make a donation (have done so before when you answered a close friend of mines question. I appreciate it very much.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

". . . They only test people if you are a certain race or gay . . . ." WHAT??? My friends and colleagues in Germany assure me this is not the case. If you want or need an HIV test, you should be able to get it done at any physician's office or health center.

Your HIV risk would be essentially nonexistent, if the latex condoms were used properly and did not fail (leak or break). Since there may have been some question about one leaking, HIV testing would be warranted. The frequency of false-positive HIV tests (from both EIA and WB) has been reported to be in the range of 0.0004% to 0.0007%. However, please note that false-positive tests can and should be discovered by follow-up confirmatory testing. Don't worry, but do get tested, OK?

Thanks for your donation. In return, I'm sending you my good-luck/good-health karma that your HIV test is negative.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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