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Extreme Worriedwellicious FluffernutterNutt with 5 PCRs, 3 DUOs, 5 ECLIAs, out to 10 weeks

Jan 12, 2011

Dear Dr. Bob,

I have been reading your forum religiously for the past 8 weeks and like many, have learned a lot from you. You have been my best friend for the past 8 weeks & what you do is amazing. Candidly comforting WWs & Fluffernutts like myself despite your status on a daily basis is very admirable. Dr. Steve is a real lucky guy! Despite my outcome youve already set a great example that HIV + people can live a healthy, witty, great lifestyle and be as superb a human being as you. You are simply AMAZING!

I will open this message with possible exposure + symptoms + test results out to 10 weeks.

2 1/2 weeks after possible exposure: Symmetrical myalgia on both shoulders - continued for a month. Diarrhea/loose stools/gas/flatulence/abdominal pain (ended up in ER for it) which continues till today. Mild night sweats, pharyngitis, episodes of fever that come and go until today- highest measurement was 100.2 F. Muscle spasms. Itchy & throbbing eye. Pelvic pain. Swollen white tongue. Lost 3 kilos but gained it back.

All the above symptoms began at 2 1/2 weeks and have come and gone regularly until today.

I was on holiday + family visit in Bangkok for the testing episode. My holiday ended up being more like a medical holiday than anything. Plus I was BLESSED to have access to great hospital (s) ( i went to more than 1) and facilities. My results are as follows: I was told that the following were all 4th generation tests. ALL Blood draws.

28 days (4 weeks) ELISA STAT = NEG 34 days DNA PCR Qualitative & ECLIA Antibody 1/2 = Both NEG 38 days ( 5 weeks) - DNA PCR Qualitative = NEG 44 days (6 weeks) HIV DUO for Antigen + Antibody = NEG 48 days (7 weeks) - DNA PCR Qualitative = NEG 56 days (8 weeks) - HIV Antibody 1/2 ECLIA = NEG 58 days - HIV DUO test Antigen + Antibody = NEG 61 days DNA PCR Qualitative & Antibody 1/2 ECLIA = NEG 65 days (9 weeks) Antibody 1/2 ECLIA = NEG 66 days DNA PCR Qualitative = NEG 69 days Antibody 1/2 ECLIA = NEG 70 days (10 weeks) HIV DUO Antigen + Antibody = NEG

I am now back in the States & cant afford to go on the same testing rampage I went on in Bangkok. I have 3 weeks left to reach the 13 week mark. Your forums are helping me cope tremendously.

Summary of testing: All this done within 6 weeks -- is this crazy? 1 ELISA 5 DNA PCR QUALITATIVES 3 HIV DUO Antigen + Antibody 5 ECLIA Antibody 1/2 test

I have seen a total of 7 Infectious Diseases Docs. Rotating in between 3 of the top hospitals there to get varied opinions and so on. All docs have suggested I stop testing already. My main infectious diseases doc even told me that if I were to turn positive shed treat me free of charge till I die. -- I wrote this down & even told my parents what she said incase we need to revisit her offer in the future.

Had CBC done = Everything turned out normal within range including lymphocytes & neutrophils. Stool sample - normal Endoscopy + Biopsy = minor gastritis , nothing concerning.

Gastroentorologist thinks I have IBS.....took meds for IBS and discontinued because GI problems were not improving. Still have hot flashes, myalgia disappearing. Now 10 weeks have this swollen tongue issue, GI problems continue, bouts of diarrhea and loose stools and pelvic pain.

No enlarged lymph nodes -- according to multiple docs.

The infectious diseases docs say that Im 100% negative after all these test---but the 3 & 6 month testing guidelines + symptoms have me worried.

I have the following questions for you Dr. Bob:

1) Do you think all the above tests up to 10 weeks following possible exposure suggest that I am Woo-Hooable ? Is it necessary to still wait 3 weeks to hit the 13 week mark? Im a bit scared to test as Im afraid Ill turn positive.

2) Obviously, Ive had a significant amount of blood drawn. Do you think all that blood drawn + the bodys generation of new cells will slow down my antibody production and cause the PCR DNA tests to go undetected?

3) Im someone that has thick blood. Ive donated blood in the past and its taken my blood A LOT longer to come out than everyone else. Plus, the nurses that have been taking my blood all agree that my blood is quite sticky and slow to come out. Do you think the stillness of my blood is causing the antibodies to lie dormant in one area of my body and not allowing it to circulate that it can be detected by all these tests?

4) What is the ECLIA test, Dr. Bob? The internet doesnt seem to have much information about it. All anyone talks about is the ELISA. Is this ECLIA test reliable? I was told that its a 4th generation test.

Your answers are very much appreciated Dr. Bob. Like every fluffernutt, I am still concerned because my symptoms are not going away..... :(

Oh, my possible exposure was a possible needle stick on the street. I know sounds STRANGE -- but a week after I discovered a perfectly circular donut bruise at the site.. yellow in the middle with a brown ring. Like an injection bruise? Ive shown the pic to several of my docs -- they say it looks like blunt trauma but i dont remember ever bumping into anything!

Symptoms together with TIME FRAME suggest that its too much of a coincidence!

Please provide your input Dr. Bob. I hope you have a Happy New Year! Ill be sure to hold my breath and get tested at 12 weeks and let you know the outcome.

Thank you very much. I really appreciate it. P.S. Yes I have seen a psychiatrist at the request of my ID docs. ... they're not helping?

Response from Dr. Frascino


I absolutely agree with your self diagnosis as an "Extreme Worriedwellcious Fluffernutter"! You have lots of company here in this forum. Check out the "I'm Positive I'm Positive" chapter in the archives.

I also absolutely agree with the five PCRs, three DUOs, five ECLIAs, one ELISA and seven infectious diseases doctors: you are HIV negative and your problem is psychiatric, not virologic!

Dude, with five negative PCRs, three negative DUOs, five negative ECLIAs, one negative ELISA, what else could you possible want? A partridge in a pear tree?

Responding to your specific questions:

1. Yes, you are WOO-HOO-able, because your exposure was nonexistent, your symptoms are not suggestive of HIV, and your stunningly excessive testing is conclusive. No further testing or worry is warranted.

2. No, it doesn't work that way.

3. No, once again the body and it's immune system don't work that way.

4. Regarding ECLIA, see below.

I would suggest you print this post and my response and show it to your psychiatrist. That's where you need to look for help with your problem.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

What is E.C.L.I.A??? Is this test reliable? Nov 1, 2007

Hello Doc,during a risk encounter with a girl, the condom broke briefly (about 10 seconds). This was 90 days ago, and after reading all the posts and your answers I did 2 4th generation tests at 21 days and at 9 weeks, both of them Negative.

Yesterday, after 89 days, I took the final test: it was Negative too, and it was a blood analysis with "electro chemical luminescence" or something like that (called E.C.L.I.A).

After 89 days of waiting...

1. Is this definitive? Should I retest? (I hope not becouse of 1 day!)

2. Is this kind of blood test reliable? (it's suposed to be a 4th generation test: HIV 1+2 and p24 antigen)

3. How can I donate? You have helped me a lot.

Thank you very much for your answer, I didn't found anything related to this in the old posts.

Response from Dr. Frascino


1. I cannot change the published guidelines that state HIV-antibody tests taken prior to three months are not considered to be definitive. However, personally, I would consider your negative fourth generation tests at 3 and 9 weeks and an 89-day negative ECLIA following a 10-second (condom failure) exposure to be definitive and conclusive. Go ahead and WOO-HOO!

2. ECLIA is Electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. Yes, it's not only reliable, it's a really, really good word if you're playing Scrabble.

3. Just sign on to The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation's Web site at and click on the donate tab. There you'll find all the information for making tax-deductible donations using credit cards, PayPal, check, direct wire transfer, checks, money orders, etc.

Thank you for your interest in making a tax-deductible gift to help those in desperate need.

Stay well!

Dr. Bob

Follow up question
Worried Sick (Donation guaranteed when payday finally arrives)

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