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3rd try

May 25, 2009

This is the third time I have submitted this question and I do understand the overwhelming amount of questions you receive and that my question is probably considered really silly but I wanted to at least try again. I am the one who went to the doctor and she did a vaginal swab to test for any kind of bacteria (all negative) - this was on a friday. On the monday morning I woke up with chills and a fever (mild), it lasted about 3 days then I was fine. The following Monday (which would be 2 weeks after) I had another fever (39), cold hands, my tongue felt weird and loose bowel. I took some panadol and it went away. After which (now about 3 weeks after) I still have loose bowels and the glands in my neck were swollen for about 2 days. I am really scared that I caught something from the procedure, as the doctor used an instrument to hold my vaginal open and I am now scared it may have not been properly cleaned. I live in a third world country and I have never been to that clinic before. What are my chances I did get hiv and should I be tested? I know that test done before the 3 month mark are not conclusive, but it also states that most people will have dectable antibodies within 4 to 6 weeks and the american social health association stated that the average period is 25 days - what is really the average period? Thank you for your time.

Response from Dr. Frascino


Contracting HIV from a gynecological examination would be extremely unlikely, even in a third world country. I'm absolutely confident your definitive three-month HIV test will be negative.

Regarding HIV tests, it is true the vast majority of HIV-infected folks will have detectable levels of anti-HIV antibodies in their blood within four to six weeks following primary HIV infection. However, the "vast majority" really isn't accurate enough when dealing with an illness where a missed diagnosis can have catastrophic consequences. Consequently I would recommend you stick with the recommendations of the published guidelines and get an HIV test at the three-month mark.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

Emergency Room HIV Transmission Risk

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