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Re: need advice and importantly your karma(please) - will donate

Apr 15, 2011

Hi Dr. Bob,

Long time. Hope you are doing well and you enjoyed your NZ trip.

After the negative tests for syphilis, herpes and an inconsequential negative HIV test at 4 weeks - I got a HIV RNA Qualitative Test done at 8 weeks. That was negative too.

1. Are my results a conclusive negative? Please don't just say that I need a 3 month ELISA "to be sure", unless it is still unclear and hence, warranted. I don't want to go through the entire nerve-wracking thing again unless it is essential.

2. While, I don't think I'll take such a risk again. But should I find that I might have been exposed to HIV risk - what should be my immediate step? Is there an analogous solution like those emergency i-pills that girls have for pregnancy?

3. Could you give me a link to your post on (the chances of) drugs being able to completely tackle HIV.

4. Also, please recommend some charities that support research for drugs for HIV/cancer

Take Care. Looking forward to your reply


Response from Dr. Frascino


Actually, not such a "long time," but welcome back to the forum. New Zealand and Australia were wonderful. Since then I've been to England and Italy.

1. Regarding your test results, the best I can offer is that the current guidelines recommend an HIV-antibody test outside the seroconversion window (usually three months) for a definitive negative result. The only qualitative RNA test approved by the FDA for HIV diagnosis is the HIV-1 APTIMA. Even this test requires confirmation with an HIV-antibody test. There is no doubt that the newer testing assays (third and fourth generation antibody/antigen tests) and nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT) can detect HIV infection sooner than older assays, including the Western Blot. Stay tuned to The Body. I plan to write a blog on this topic next month. Bottom line: at the present time, a three-month HIV-antibody test would be recommended, but those guidelines may change in the not-to-distant future.

2. HIV post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is available for significant HIV exposures. You can read about this in the archives of this forum and elsewhere on this site.

3. Click on The Body's blog page tab. Then click on "Dr. Bob." There you'll find a three-part blog on "The Search for a Cure Heats Up."

4. There are many, including amFAR (The American Foundation for AIDS Research). Liz Taylor was involved with this one. And, of course, there is always The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation!

Dr. Bob

Just Checking on You
Dumb Old Man

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