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antigen plus antibody hiv test
Dec 19, 2008

Dear Dr. Bob, I am married to a wonderful young lady and I have two beautiful kids. The reason why I am telling you about all this is help determining if the symptoms I have are stress related. I am a guy and I had full intercourse sex with a Russian female prostitute in Dubai around 8 weeks ago. Afterwards, I had extreme feeling of guilt that caused very extreme level of anxiety that led me to visit a psychologist for counselling. I was using a condom from the beginning to the end and it did not break or anything. I kissed her mouth and nipples with closed mouth. She was on the top for about 3 minuets then we switched and I was on the top for about 2 minuets then I cum then I took her back to the hotel and I didnt shower till next morning (stupid me). Four days later I had the herpes symptoms (genitals area burning then a blister that became a skin ulcer latter). Then my hiv panic started. I had what I thought all the hiv early symptoms. I had headache, persistent nausea, shortness in breath and I felt like I have inflated limps in the neck. I related all these symptoms to hiv then the psychologist said that all these can come from anxiety. Only around four weeks after the exposure I did hiv test at the hospital in Dubai and it showed negative results. HIV (Antigen and Antibody) non-reactive. I know I was suppose to wait for three months but I was running crazy and I was afraid that I could kill myself if I didnt do the test. I read over the internet that a combo test (antigen + antibody) should show early results but I read at other places at the internet that the antigen test is not very accurate test and the antibody test has to be taken after three months or even six in some cases. I will be doing a second test next week which means that it would be nine weeks after the exposure. My questions are: 1- Can the hiv virus go to my genitals with the herpes virus (although I was using a condom) because I did not shower till next morning. 2- How accurate is the combo test that I have done at four weeks. 3- If the next test at nine weeks showed negative results as well, how confidant I should be that I am hiv clean and should I do a third test at three months. (sorry for some reason I cant use question marks in my keyboard) By the way the doctor at the hospital told me that I dont need to worry and the test should be enough but I am really still panicked and cant think right. Please help me. And by the way some one from Dubai asked you before and apparently he thinks that the hospital would give him to the authorities if his hiv test results were negative and I checked with the American Hospital about this and they assured to me that those results will be a private matter between me and the hospital only and there will be no report sent to the police. So I suggest that this guy can try this hospital if he is still concerned. Thanks for your help. Yours, John

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello John,

1. HIV cannot permeate intact latex. No way. No how. Herpes is much easier to contract than HIV. Herpes can be spread by skin-to-skin contact. HIV cannot.

2. HIV-antibody tests taken prior to the three-month mark are not considered to be definitive. Your negative test at four weeks is encouraging, but not conclusive. You'll need to retest at three months.

3. Same response as #2 above.

Thanks for the information about the American Hospital in Dubai. I'll pass it along.

Good luck. Be well.

Dr. Bob



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