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please help me, 9 weeks of hell. please please please please please don't ignore. please!

Jul 8, 2010

id like to start by saying that u have no idea how grateful l am for experts like you who spend your time educating ppl like me. if u believe in god I pray that he blesses u and all ppl like u. I will donate when I can get on a pc

i had unprotected vag intercourse id like to share my symptoms, testing and questions...

symptoms generalized pain in lymph nodes sore throat stuffy nose unproductive cough diarrhea appetite loss with 6lb weight loss mouth ulcers night sweats muscle aches rashes on forearms one itchy one not red bumps on chest and around ankle random cuts opened and closed vasculitis peripheral neuropathy bedbugs left red mark bump in palm of hand and some peeling skin hands and lips falling asleep an getting numb in the middle of the night increased ob (I have hsv2) muscle twitching

testing 12 days post pooled Naat RNA pcr and ELISA negative 4,5,6,7,8 week ELISA negative 6 week negative on esr test, hep abc. syphillis 9 week RNA pcr and ELISA negative

question: I know the CDC recommends 3 months. do u think my antibodies are just not apparent yet because it hasn't been 3 months? has this ever been the case that someone is neg at 9 wks then poz after? do u think it can be a non subtype b strain that hasn't been picked up by my testing? I'm going mad with anxiety. I beg u to answer me

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Desperate,

1. Your repeatedly negative HIV-antibody tests and undetectable quantitative HIV RNA PCR viral load out to nine weeks are extremely encouraging. You are correct: The CDC suggests that HIV tests taken prior to the three-month mark are not definitive or conclusive. Consequently you should repeat your HIV-antibody test at three months. RNA PCR tests are generally not recommended for routine HIV diagnosis due to the rate of false positives, other technical problems and cost. (At the present time, only one RNA test is FDA approved for diagnostic purposes: the APTIMA HIV-1 test.)

2. Since testing is not considered definitive until three months and not even recommended until three months, I cannot address your question about the interval between nine weeks and three months.

3. No, but I'd still recommend a three-month test.

Don't go "mad with anxiety." Remember, symptoms are notoriously unreliable in predicting who is and is not HIV infected. Also, it's worth noting that the vast majority of HIV-infected folks will have detectable levels of anti-HIV antibodies in their blood within four to six weeks following HIV primary infection.

All things considered, I'd say the odds are astronomically in your favor that you did not contract HIV.

Thanks for your donation to The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation ( It's warmly appreciated. In return I'm sending my good-luck/good-health karma that your definitive three-month HIV test remains negative.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

As the world turns around, here's me back...
Dr. Bob A Celebrity

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