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Can I trust my tests? please help me.
Aug 18, 2008

I am in a 3 year relationship and we are faithful and getting married. About 6 or 7 weeks ago I was at a bar with a friend and I had just gotten my lips pierced 9 days prior. While we were at the bar he started kissing me in an DEEP, DEEP open mouthed kisses. This happened like four times. I finally realized what was happening and pushed him away..( lots of drinking involved). I am not sure how long the kissing lasted for, but now I am afraid that I might have gotten HIV. I wouldnt be worried only that I had new peircings and I am not sure if they were completely healed. I had taken them out 1 hour prior to the "incident". And the presence of alcohol could have prevented me in noticing any blood in HIS mouth. I did call him and he told me he was HIV negative, but I am still not at ease. I started thinking about this situation last week and got a panic attack so I went to the hospital (at 6 weeks),and had them give me a full blood screen and an HIV test. It was negative. then like an idiot I got on the internet and got even more worried that it hadn't shown up yet. So, I searched for a company that could do another test. I found the HIV DNA by PCR test. I payed $300 and went to the lab and had blood drawn. But now after reasearching the test more, I have found that the CDC does not reccommend and the FDA does not approve, and that the false negative and positive rates are very high. So I called the woman at the testing center and told her not to call me, and that I wouldn't be calling her because I could never really trust that test, I feel taken advantage of, and mad that they sell tests like that for people who are panicked and not thinking clearly. My therapist says I should just trust the first HIV antibody test and leave the other test alone and move on. But now at 7 weeks, I wanted to make sure I was making the right decision and so I went to the health clinic and had a "rapid blood test" and it was also negative... should i trust those results? My therapist also tells me it is very unlikely that i would catch it that way any way.... what do you think? -Could I have gotten HIV? I -Should I trust my anti body test at 6 or 7 wees? -Should I let the other test go like my therapist says? -now I feel sick, but I think its from not being able to eat and the fact that I quit smoking in January and I have smoked 8 packs in like 5 days, could that be why my lymphe nodes are swollen?

I know this probably sounds crazy, but with all the conflicting info on the internet, how do you ever know whats true and what is not?

PLEASE HELP

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

You "finally realized what was happening" after four "DEEP DEEP open mouthed kisses" and pushed him away???? Hmm . . . . I guess the first three just sort of slipped by without your noticing someone was playing tonsil hockey with you, eh? No matter. You can relax. Kissing, even deep kissing with lips that have been pierced nine days previously, is not considered a significant risk for HIV acquisition.

Regarding HIV tests, HIV-antibody tests taken prior to the three-month mark are not considered to be definitive or conclusive. Certainly your negative tests out to seven weeks are very encouraging, but unfortunately not yet definitive. As for PCR testing, you are correct: it is not recommended by the FDA for routine diagnosis and there is a risk primarily of false-positive results. I agree with you it is unfortunate that so many people order expensive tests that are either not recommended or completely inappropriate. Unfortunately we can't regulate how folks choose to waste, I mean spend, their hard-earned dollars. However, if the money spent on unnecessary, unwarranted and excessive HIV testing was instead applied to HIV treatment, care, prevention and research, we could very significantly impact the course of this devastating pandemic.

My advice:

1. Your HIV risk is so remote it's essentially nonexistent. However, if you continue to perseverate on HIV and want a definitive test result, get an HIV-antibody test at the three-month mark.

2. Continue to work with your therapist to confront and conquer your unwarranted HIV fears.

3. Stay away from cigarettes. Smoking can and will kill you in a very painful and undignified fashion.

4. As of your final question: "How do you ever know what's true and not true, due to the conflicting HIV information on the Internet"? That's an easy one! Ask Dr. Bob of course! (And rely only on reputable Web sites, like TheBody.com and its related links!)

Good luck. Be well. Stay well.

Dr. Bob



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