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hiv negative after exposer but still showing symtoms
Apr 23, 2011

hey dr. bob i had a pretty risky exposer last mid january. now i know what your going to say to me get tested after 12 weeks and this and that, but i really am concerned i have exvery single possible symtom of hiv ars infection its really weird( oral thrush, tingling left foot, diariah, stomach cramps, and depression) and all of these have lasted for quie a while now . i am now nearing the 14 week mark and idk if i should get tested tommorow? I was living a perfectly normal healthy life before the exposure but now i feel unhealthy and living in a kinda dark state if you know what i mean. now i got tested at 6 weeks which turned out negative, then again at 11 weeks and also again negative. but the nurse at the std clinic assured me to get tested at 6 months because you never know. i live in Calgary Canada and idk if the guidelines are any different from the ones from the ones the U.S used but all i its like im getting different anwsers from everywhere. i read internet 6 weeks it 99 % conclusive then so from some another place that says 3 motnhs is 99 % conclusive.

so my question yo you is

1. why are there so many different anwsers for when a hiv test is conclusive

2. are my 6,11 week tests conclusive or should i test again??

3 should i get tested tommorow as it will be 14 weeks after possible exposure or should i just lay it to rest and see my doctor for where my symtoms are coming from??

i am happy i found this site, and am really inspired by your stories. youve made me feel alot better for my fearand i thank you for that, i will be donating some money, thankyou :)

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

"Now I know what you're going to say to me: get tested after 12 weeks . . . ." Yep!!! You're absolutely correct. Symptoms are notoriously unreliable in predicting who is and is not HIV infected. Consequently if you've had "a pretty risky exposure," you need to get an HIV-antibody test outside the window period (defined as the first three months after exposure). Your negative HIV-antibody tests at 6 and 11 weeks are extremely encouraging, as the vast majority of HIVers will have detectable levels of anti-HIV antibody in their blood within four to six weeks after primary infection.

Responding to your specific questions:

1. Because there is variability among HIVers. Not everyone's immune system responds exactly the same. Plus, there are differences among various testing assays (1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generation tests are all available) and viral strains as well as other factors that may influence the timing of seroconversion. We really shouldn't use a specific percentage at a specific time. The current guidelines state HIV-antibody tests taken before the three-month mark are not conclusive. (There is a possibility the guidelines will change in the future as we gain more information about the newer generation tests.) Stay tuned to The Body as I plan to blog on this topic next month.

2. Your results are not conclusive, according to current guidelines. However, the odds are now astronomically in your favor that you are HIV negative.

3. Get tested (the result will undoubtedly be negative) and see your doctor for an evaluation of any persistent symptoms, as they are most likely not HIV-related.

Thanks for your support of The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org). It's warmly appreciated. In return I'm sending you my good-luck karma (even though you probably don't need it) that your definitive HIV-antibody test is negative. By the way, one thing you do need is to learn how to use the spellcheck function on your computer (exposer, symtoms, exvery, diariah, motnhs, etc.).

Dr. Bob



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