Mar 26, 2009
Hello Dr Frascino,
First of all, I am writing to you because of your knowledge, honesty, and consistency in your answers on the Q&A - which holds great weight with many people across the globe (me included...)
I had intercourse with a permiscous woman (I am a UK male residing in the US) on 9/26, 2008. I have had many tests since we had sex, after some scary symptoms; too be honest, I have been a complete wreck these past 6 months - more mentally in the last few months. I have a profressional job, but I have just been a useless waste of space lately, with HIV dominating my every other thought. Anyway, I have had two DNA PCR tests; one at 7 weeks and one at 19 weeks - both "not detected." In addition, I have taken HIV Ab tests with rapid and Lab tests (through LabCorp) - all negative post 5.5 months. Today (a few days shy of 6 months), I took a Unigold Rapid Test - the result was strange.... the blood did fully migrate through the stick (although the "Control" line came through) Some of the specimen seemed to be highlighted on the Test line - although it was hard to tell as the specimen was all over - even though we waited the maximum time, 12 min. The counselor did not seem worried, more like he was expecting this... he said "this is happening too much with the Unigold." He called it invalid. We then tested with the Oral Oraquick device, negative. He wanted to ship me out of there, so I asked could we do the Oraquick blood test, he agreed: negative again. Do I have cause for concern? I have taken at least 6-8 HIV Ab tests at 3 thru 5.5 months and a negative DNA PCR post 5 months. How often do you see people who test negative at 5 months whom turn up positive later? This as set me back again, just has I was trying to get my life back together. My mom (who meant everything to me) past away last year through Cancer.... and all I think about is my mom and HIV. My head is not a pretty place to be.
Thanks for your strength.... and please know that your honest words will mean a lot to me.
All the best, ELO: Can't get it out of my head
Response from Dr. Frascino
Thank you for your kind comments. Yes, my responses are both honest and consistent. In fact because of that consistency, if you've read the archives, you should already know how I will respond to your questions! Similar situations have been posed many times before and my assessment and advice have never varied.
Unprotected sex does place you at some degree of risk for STDs, including HIV. However, multiple negative HIV-antibody tests out to 5.5 months plus two undetectable HIV DNA PCR qualitative tests are definitive and conclusive. HIV is not your problem. No way. No how. No additional tests are warranted. I agree the UniGold Rapid Test was invalid. Consequently you've had nothing but negative test results. How often have I seen results like yours turn positive sometime later? Never.
Your irrational fears about HIV coupled with the loss of your mom have caused you to become clinically depressed. "My head is not a pretty place to be." I strongly urge you to seek the help of a psychiatrist or psychotherapist to help you cope with the loss of your mom and to help you accept the overwhelming and irrefutable evidence that you are HIV negative. HIV is not your problem ELO, but you do have a problem that requires attention. Get the help you need to get your life back under control. I'm confident it's what your mom would have wanted.
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