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Negative Partner's Inconclusive Test Reults (HIV TRAVEL BAN !!!!!!!!!!! )
Mar 9, 2009

Hello Dr. Franscino. I was tested positive for HIV 17 months ago and have been on medication for about 11 months now. My last three labs came back at an undetectable viral load with an increasing CD4 count. My latest count was at 600 with a percentage in the 30's. I have been in two relationships since testing positive. Both partners were negative. My firs partner is still negative. Just two weeks ago, my current partner got tested for HIV in Ireland (where he lives). The results came back inconclusive. They asked him if he was taking any antibiotics which he was a month prior to getting tested. We hardly engaged in any risky behavior but accept the fact the however small the risk... I did perform oral sex on him a total of three times. The last time being in January at the same time he was taking the antibiotics, and only a month before getting tested. I only performed oral sex on him for probably a minute or two. I did some research online and learned that Ireland does the ELIZA and Western Blot HIV antibodies test as does the U.S.A. They told him to come again at the end of the month to get re-tested. My partner is taking this very difficult as am I. To think I might have transmitted the virus to him is killing me. Should he get tested again before the end of this month? Do you know how taking antibiotics has anything to do with the HIV antibody test? What other factors besides the oral sex and kissing could bring back an inconclusive test? He's also worried that if he tests positive, he won't be able to come live in the U.S.A as he always dreamed of doing. Are there any updates in that law? Sorry for all the questions. Please help me. I'm a distressed boyfriend feeling completely guilty and scared for the one he loves. :(

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Relax Max!

1. An indeterminate test is indeterminate, not positive! If three episodes of insertive oral sex with you are his only HIV-acquisition risks, he should remain confident that he will ultimately test negative.

2. Antibiotics do not affect HIV test results.

3. Your Irish-lad should retest and if his results continue to be indeterminate, he may consider getting a quantitative HIV DNA PCR. This test is not recommended for routine HIV diagnostic screening; however, it can be very helpful in sorting out unclear or indeterminate HIV-antibody test results. I remain confident your partner will ultimately test negative.

4. The travel ban update is attached below.

Be well.

Dr. Bob

HIV TRAVEL BAN !!!!!!!!!!! Mar 1, 2009

Hey Dr. Bob,

What is going on with the US Travel Ban on HIVers???? I thought the US Congress lifted the ban last year???? I just heard HIV folks are still having trouble getting a visa to the USA. What gives?????

Josh

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Josh,

As it turns out, the U.S. is apparently still in the process of lifting the ban on HIV-positive foreigners and immigrants. You are correct: Last year Congress did repeal the law that banned HIV-positive folks. But unfortunately the government's actual list of "communicable diseases of public health significance" was not amended for visa purposes! Once Congress repealed the ban, it was up to the Bush administration to appropriately amend its list. Not surprisingly, Bush and Cheney consciously decided not to care and purposely left HIV on the list! Apparently they were too busy totally screwing up the economy, education, health care, the environment, international relations and, well, the whole world (better yet, make that the entire universe) to attend to this detail. It's now one more thing on President Obama's extremely long to-do list. The Bush legacy is now unquestionably confirmed: "W" stands for "Worst ever" president!

Stay tuned, we'll keep you posted as this sad saga finally comes to an end.

Dr. Bob



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