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Ambiguous Results
Feb 15, 2009

Doctor Bob,

I had routine HIV tests done -

the results read as follows:

Abbott Architect HIV 1 and 2 Ag/Ab: Negative

With a line written at the bottom of the results that says "This result does not exclude infection with the HIV virus"

I am totally freaking out about the "disclaimer" at the bottom saying that the test doesnt exclude infection - what do you think this means!?! Talk about uncertainty... What is the point of getting tested then?

I have always tested negative for HIV and have been with my partner for 5 years who is also negative. The only possible thing is a mosquito full of blood that I squashed on my skin a few months ago?

Yes I admit that I cant deal with uncertainty and Im probably over analysing the results.

There will certainly be a donation attached to this question however.

Thanks - you are an angel.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Relax! That disclaimer should be on all HIV tests! It's there because the laboratory has absolutely no way of knowing when your last potential HIV exposure occurred. So if, for example, you had unprotected sex with 25 HIV-infected prostitutes two weeks ago and then last week decided to share needles with 10 HIV-infected heroin addicts, you could get HIV tested today and test negative, even though in reality you may well be HIV infected. You could be within the so-called window period, which is usually defined as the first three months after the HIV infection. During this time your body's immune system may not have "kicked in" yet and therefore you would not have detectable levels of anti-HIV antibodies in your blood, OK? In your case you've had essentially no HIV-risk exposures and consequently your negative HIV test is definitive and conclusive. As for the mosquito, you know that's not an HIV risk, right? Of course you do! See below.

Dr. Bob

risk? (MOSQUITO, 2008) Jun 15, 2008

Dear Dr. Rob: I was at the beach and was bitten by a moskito. I killed it and it left a big drop of blood on my left arm near the elbow. I looked around and found many girls around. Almost no men. The girls were around 20-25 years old. 3 of them were very skinny. I am sure that the moskito transferred their blood to me. What would be my chance of getting HIV from this exposure? I read in your archives that a risk of transferring HIV from a woman to man is 5:10000. I repeat that there were almost no men on the beach, at least not at the visible proximity. I thank you very much for your reply because this exposure drives me crazy. Should I wait a 3 month mark for being tested? Thanks again. Bill

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

The mosquito (or, as you call it, "moskito") question yet again?????? Can you hear me pounding my head into the keyboard yelling "No, not again, not 26 years into the epidemic? People can't really still be worried about mosquito transmission!" Dude, the chances you could contract HIV from a mosquito are exactly the same as Britney Spear's chances of becoming a nun, OK? See below.

Dr. Bob

hiv from mosquito (MOSQUITO) Jan 29, 2008

I am really worried about hiv from mosquito 1 how long the virus stay in mosquito if mosquito blood falls on open cut or wound 2.if mosquito get entered into your stomach

3.how long the virus in blood stay outside the body

Thanks and Regards

saveen

India

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Saveen,

And once again the mosquito question rises up! The ultimate and original QTND (question that never dies).

See below.

Dr. Bob

Mosquitoes & HIV Jan 19, 2008

Hi Doc,

Can HIV be transmitted through mosquitoes?? There seem to be plenty in my locality these days. Some of them are really big - in fact, when I squash them then my hands are stained with blood. Is there even a remote possibility that we can get HIV through mosquitoes.

Thx....humpy

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Humpy!

Oh no! Not the mosquito question again? Twenty-six years into the HIV/AIDS pandemic and you're still wondering about mosquito transmission???? This was the original QTND (question that never dies) from a quarter of a century ago! That you are still wondering about it today means one of the following:

1. You've been in a coma for the past 26 years and just recently woke up.

2. You are an extraterrestrial who just teleported from the former planet Pluto to Earth.

3. You've been home schooled.

4. Our HIV awareness and prevention programs suck (and not in a good way).

5. All of the above.

OK Mr. or Ms. Clueless, one last time: Yes, HIV can be transmitted via mosquitoes! However, in order for this to occur you'll need to find one who is HIV positive and large enough to have unsafe sex with, OK?

Dr. Bob



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