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Very Confused and Concerned
Feb 14, 2009

1 year ago I had unprotected anal sex, and shortly after I got a flu. I took antibiotics and the next day I was better. The day before I got 4 HIV rapid tests done 6 months - 1 year later.

I. If it was ARS I was experiencing, would the antibiotics have worked and cleared up that fast?

II. I had went to the beach and went in the ocean the day before I got the flu, could something in the ocean had caused the flu (ie:infection from water)

III. My boyfriend(the one I had unprotected sex with) got an oral swab test done and was neg! But the counselor swabbed his cheeks and tongue and you're not supposed to. The people at the clinic said if the wrong specimen was taken it would have been invalid because of the control panel. And they said that the oral fluid they are collecting can be found on cheek and tongue. Does this sound accurate??

IV. And would the tests be conclusive? I hear about late seroconversion.

WHERE COULD I DONATE, AND CAN I SEND A PRESENT TO YOU?

Confused and Concerned (i forgot to add) (Submitted Feb 11, 2009) The antibiotics I took were the 7 day Z-Pak? Would those have eliminated the flu I had if in fact it was ARS? And now that I think about it, I'm not sure if the flu went away 1 day later(but close to that)..but I know the symptoms did start to dissipate after I started the z-pak.

Please add this on my last message!! :)

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Four negative HIV tests six months to one year after a potential HIV exposure are conclusive and definitive. HIV is not your problem (and you only needed one test, not four!). To specifically address your questions:

1. No. Antibiotics, such as azithromycin (Z-pack), treat bacterial infections not viral illnesses.

2. It's possible to contract a bacterial infection that way, but extremely unlikely.

3. I agree these tests should be performed using proper collection techniques. And the clinic should not try to justify improper-collection methods. However, I also agree that if the test did not contain an adequate sample it would read out as invalid. I do not believe your boyfriend's test was inaccurate; however, he certainly has every right to demand the test be redone using appropriate collection technique. I would also bring this matter to the attention of the medical director of the clinic so that the counselor and clinic staff can be retrained (and appropriately chastised!).

4. As for the conclusiveness of the test result, see response above. As for late seroconversion, no, absolutely not.

5. Donation information for the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation can be found on the foundation's Web site at www.concertedeffort.org and I can be found at the foundation: 1000 Fremont Ave., Suite 145; Los Altos, CA 94024.

Be well. Stop worrying. Start WOO-HOOing.

Dr. Bob



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