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Follow Up - Scared: ARS-like Symptoms after Mutual Masterbation (Part II)
Dec 31, 2008

Doc,

After my possible exposure on Dec. 3 (unknown partner's pre cum as lube with an open sore on penis), I went to see an HIV specialist about my ARS-like symptoms on Dec. 23.

He ordered an HIV RNA PCR test (by Roche with 50ml sensitivity). It came back undetectable, and the doctor said I was "absolutely not infected" and that the test does not give false negatives for someone with the disease who is not on retrovirals.

Should I accept this as conclusive and chalk the experience up to a mix of common cold, anxiety, and lack of sleep (I had symptoms beginning Dec. 17 and continuing through today).

Please help. Thanks for all you do.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

I would agree with the advice you received from the HIV specialist. The problem with HIV RNA PCR tests is the rate of false positives, not false negatives. Whatever is causing your symptoms, it's not HIV, OK?

Stay safe. Stay well. Happy holidays.

Dr. Bob



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