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HIV test in Hong Kong
May 9, 2009

Hi Dr Frascino

Thank you very much for your kind attention!

I am a 25 year old male nurse from Hong Kong. I had a receptive oral (unprotected) and receptive anal sex (protected with condom) with an English man with unknown HIV status in September 2008 i.e. 8 months ago. I was worried about HIV infection afterwards although I presume the risk is very low. Since I am a nurse, I am very afraid of being recognized by my colleagues and past schoolmates in the HIV clinic so I didn't go there for HIV tests. Instead, I donated blood 2 months and 5 3/4 months after the potential exposure (I confess that it is a very bad behaviour but I really have no choice). Nobody told me my blood is abnormal so I suppose the HIV tests are negative. The HIV screening for donated blood in my country uses Nucleic acid based tests (NAT) in addition to those conventional tests. Are those tests accurate enough to ensure I am not infected? Do I need to re-test again or test for some HIV strains possibly not covered by routine screening e.g. HIV-1 group O? Thank you very much!

Again, I deeply condemn myself for abusing blood donation for HIV tests but I really have no choice. The discrimination against gay and HIV related issues is very active here in Hong Kong. I am very sorry:(

Thank you and best wishes!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

I absolutely agree this is extremely bad behavior and morally reprehensible. How could you as a nurse, a health care provider, be so self-centered that you'd be willing to risk contaminating the blood supply and possibly infecting others simply because you are afraid of being recognized at an STD clinic????

The screening performed at blood banks is designed to protect the blood supply, not diagnose HIV infection.

Sorry, I don't believe you "really had no choice." I will not respond to your question.

My very strong advice is that you contact the blood donation center immediately and inform them of the circumstances surrounding your two donations. I would then advise you to see a private physician for an evaluation if you do not want to go to the STD clinic. Finally, I think you should reconsider your career as a health care professional because your recent actions indicate you are not truly interested in anyone's health but your own. Shame on you sir!

Dr. Bob



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