I'd really really appreciate an answer to this! (from Nigeria, will donate gladly)
Dec 27, 2008
Hello Dr Bob, I hope I get an answer to this question, because you seem to be one of the only people out there who gives straight, concise answers to difficult (and sometimes ludicrous)questions. I know you are probably tired of people asking questions about symptoms, and the window period, but I think my concerns are valid. I had unprotected sex on august 30th with a girl I just met. I started to experience some symptoms about 6 weeks later, general tiredness, muscle aches etc. I tested negative 8 weeks post exposure. (on the 25th of October)On the 1st of November however I noticed an ulcer on the side of my tongue. It healed in a few days, but returned in about 3 weeks. I tested negative again on the 3rd of december (14 weeks four days after exposure)Since then the ulcer has recurred, along with high fever and tender lymphadenopathy. My question is this. You often repeat that an FDA approved test at more than 3 months post exposure is definitive. However for those of us in the 3rd world, our tests are probably not FDA approved. My second test was a Stat-pak rapid test and I don't know if that test is approved by the FDA or not. So should I consider that test to be definitive and conclusive? Secondly, is it possible for me to still be experiencing seroconversion four months post-exposure? I read that the duration of acute retroviral syndrome can be up to 70 or more days. Before this incident I hadn't been ill for about four years, but today I had a fever of 39.6 centigrade (103 F). That is definitely not psychosomatic or a phantom symptom. So to sum it all up, how likely is it that what am experiencing is not seroconversion illness? And if it is, won't I continue to test negative? By the way PCR tests are generally not available in Nigeria. Should I take another test or start whoo-hooing? Thanks for your anticipated answer, I'll be glad to donate.
Response from Dr. Frascino
Unprotected sex does place you at some degree of risk for STDs, including HIV. Your negative HIV-antibody tests at 6 weeks, 8 weeks and 14 weeks are definitive and conclusive. HIV is not your problem. No way. No how. Whatever is causing your symptoms, one thing is certain: It's not HIV.
Thanks for your donation to the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org). It's warmly appreciated.
Play safe and you'll stay safe.
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