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Tests trump symptoms,symptoms trump tests...?
Jul 30, 2009

At approx. 6 months past any exposure I had a Unigold instant blood test at a clinic, it was negative. Not wanting to trust my health status to such a simple test , I then had a blood draw Elissa full panel std test , all negative. I kept the appointment I'd made with a specialist and told him I wanted something more definitive than a antibody test. He performed a Viral load test , which came back undetectable and a cd4 that came back 900 . After extensive reading of the forums I'm not sure this test is so reliable as I've read where hiv known positive individuals state where their VL's are undetectable and cd4's aren't all that far from 900 (Some have reported high 700 cd4 counts) without taking meds. Finally, on 7/28/09 I had an OraQuick Advance instant blood test which came back negative at almost 7 months post any possible exposure. What is the definitive test to take that will actually once and for all conclusively make a determination of my hiv status .? I've felt very symptomatic for some 4 months now , with the symptom's severity greatly reduced. They include, everyday hot/burning back, spreading to neck and flashing to both forearms. nausea more mornings than not , forearm heat flashes, tingling slight numbness to left hand arm and foot, very rarely light sensation of tingling in right hand . Some mental malaise obviously ,some slight physical fatigue due to the back heat . Could I have temporarily fought off the virus so as to not produce antibodies and subsequently have no viral load or antibody response ? I am quite sure as to the accuracy of the exposure period . Two steady girlfriends and a casual female partner have all also tested negative with instant and Elissa antibody tests . One has temporary heat flash symptoms and another's skin often feels hot to the touch, both complain of fatigue . Is it possible that we're all sharing the same symptomatic trail with the same mutant strain of hiv ?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

I'll be brief:

A negative HIV-antibody test three months or more after your last potential exposure is considered definitive. A valid negative HIV-antibody test trumps symptoms each and every time. You've had multiple negative HIV-antibody tests plus an undetectable plasma HIV PCR RNA viral load and normal CD4 count. Your negative tests are conclusive, definitive and excessive. HIV is not your problem. No way. No how. No additional HIV testing is warranted. You've had way too many already.

Your fears concerning a "mutant strain" are completely unwarranted. If you continue to worry despite my reassurance, I suggest you seek psychotherapy (counseling) to help you accept the overwhelming evidence that you are HIV negative.

Dr. Bob



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