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Does a person have to be tested for HIV-subtype M or O or N?
May 8, 2010

Hi, again. First and foremost, hope you're doing fine. and, second, thanks for answering my question. The only thing is that it left me confused. No doctor has ever said to test for HIV-1 (subtype M, N, or O), just HIV and HIV-2. My concern is that I have had numerous symptoms that are still ongoing. Have tested up to a year for HIV-1 and 2 and have all come back negative, but it raises a concern and fear as to whether M, N or O is yet another concern. I guess my question is do I have to test for M, N or O? No one has even mentioned to me anything about this subtype situation. Again, thank you for taking the time to answer my question. Gladly will continue to donate.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

No, barring extremely unusual extenuating circumstances, specialized testing for subtypes M, O, and N is not warranted for routine HIV screening.

Symptoms are notoriously unreliable in predicting who is and is not HIV infected. A negative FDA-approved HIV-antibody test outside the window period trumps "symptoms" each and every time.

I'd suggest you follow up with a good internal medicine physician for evaluation and management of any persistent symptoms. Remember, HIV is not your problem, OK?

Good luck

Dr. Bob



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