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Exposure in one country, testing in another

Feb 8, 2009

Dr Bob,

A few years ago whilst travelling I had unprotected sex with a person from the US (who had also travelled extensively). I am not sure of their HIV status.

I have tested several times over the years for HIV 1/2 Ag Ab ELISA all with negative results.

My question is - if I have the test done in my country (Australia) will it pick up strains of virus from other countries (US or other places in the world) or is the test only designed to detect strains of HIV from Australia?

Might sound silly but just something I have been worrying about - or perhaps I am looking back on my younger days and feeling guilty for taking risks...

THanks for your time - a donation will be sent.

Response from Dr. Frascino

G'day Curious Aussie,

HIV-antibody tests are standardized. It doesn't really matter if you shag a Sheila in Sydney or San Francisco; the results will still be accurate.

Thanks for your donation to the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation ( It's warmly appreciated. (Just don't send any of that awful tasting vegemite stuff, OK?)

Be well.

Dr. Bob

Allo de Quebec (part 2)
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