HIV testing reliability??????
May 24, 2010
Dear Robert J. Frascino, I read an article Taking Unnecessary HIV Monitoring Tests: A Waste of Valuable Resources by Rick Sowadsky on thebody.com which discourages taking tests like DNA PCR CD4 etc for HIV screening. I had a high risk exposure with a prostitute of unknown status in mid-may in 2009 a condon broke and i discovered on withdrawing. i immediatly washed my penis with soap.I am married and had unprotected sex with my wife in the following week. Realising how foolish i was i told my wife and we went for testing in early june 2009 using a rapid finger test the results were negative, in mid went august 2009 the results came out negative again using the rapid test . Not convinced i took an elisa test that came negative end sept 2009, not convinced i took a DNA PCR in mid oct 2009 which came neg. we took rapid tests with my wife in dec 2009,feb 2010 and early may 2010 all came out neg. In addition I took an elisa test mid March 2010 which came out neg plus HEP B which came neg. i did a cd4 count and it was 400. this really got me worried. Rick Sowadsky says PCR and CD4 tests can not be used for screening HIV. I Know the window period is six months and i am passed that.My concern is that i have experienced increased sweating in the day had a couple of night sweats in june 2009, a throat irritation that is not going away, an oily face,sweaty palms and soles. the soles are especiallly iritating as they sweat even when i wear slippers or am bare feet. the soles look reddish as if there is increased blood supply and some whitesh stuff like fungal infection which has failed to clear with antifungal creams. the question is, could this be a case of delayed seroconversion when all tests have been negative in 12 months. i lost a bit of weight as well but i have been gaining again. Please check (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00040569.htm)Persistent Lack of Detectable HIV-1 Antibody In a Person With HIV Infection -- Utah, 1995 and advise i am really worried. John
Response from Dr. Frascino
You should have heeded Rick Sowadsky's message. If you had, you would't be in your current predicament.
You have overwhelming and irrefutable evidence that you are HIV negative. HIV is not your problem. No way. No how. No additional HIV testing is warranted. (You've had way too many already.)
Whatever is causing your CD4 cell fluctuation one thing is certain: It's not HIV! CD4 counts can bounce up and down for a wide variety of reasons. An isolated reading of 400 is not at all worrisome.
Are you experiencing delayed seroconversion? No, you are not. You are experiencing unwarranted fear caused by a test that should never have been obtained and is not diagnostic for HIV disease.
I urge you and all readers to stick to the recommended testing guidelines!
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