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Viral load testing

Jul 31, 2010

I was involved with someone I believe had HIV/AIDS. I have lost a tremendous amount of weight and fat and have experienced body pains and weakness with fever. Although my test have been negative for a little over a year, will I benefit from the viral load test to make sure it is not HIV infection? I spoke to someone at an AIDS organization that said in rare cases if you have another illness such as an autoimmune problem, your immune system may be busy handling that issue and not responding to HIV. In this case would a viral load test could help? Please share your expertise.

Response from Dr. Frascino


No, plasma HIV RNA PCR viral load testing is not warranted. Your repeatedly negative HIV-antibody tests over a year out are definitive, conclusive and WOO-HOO-able. HIV is not your problem. No way. No how. No further HIV tests are warranted. You'll need to look elsewhere for the cause of your symptoms. If no physical cause can be determined, your symptoms may be related to anxiety, fear and psychosomatic illness. One thing is certain: HIV is not the cause!

Dr. Bob

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