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Immunosupressed - How long should I test? WOOHOO for the 4th!
Jun 23, 2011

Greetings Dr. Bob, Thank you for considering my question. I'll try to keep this short. March 23 I got some menstrual blood on my hand. I didn't have any visible cuts or sores, maybe chapped skin. Washed with soap followed by alcohol rinse. Started having symptoms wk 3. Headache, 17# wt loss, swollen nodes, lost my voice, just felt sick. No fever or rash. I've read your site enough to know HIV can't be diagnosed by symptoms so decided to test. At 4ks - DNA RT PCR with HIV 1/0/2 Abs- negative. At 8 wks tested with HIV 1/0/2 Abs-negative. I'm taking my 13 wk test today. My concern is I have rheumatoid arthritis and take Mobic, Plaquenil and Methotrexate. I assume I'm somewhat immonosuppressed. 1) Should I test beyond 13 wks due to meds? 2)Are HIV 1/0/2 ICMA and HIV 1/0/2 EIA acceptable tests? That's what is offered by Labcorp. I hope you can answer soon. Going on vacation for 4th of July and would like to resume unprotected "WOOHOO"ing with spouse!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi.

1. No. Your undetectable DNA RT PCR is not antibody dependent and therefore would not be affected by immunosuppression.

2. This is probably a moot point considering you had an undetectable PCR, but most likely your ICMA and EIA would be accurate, despite any immunosuppressive effects of your medications.

I see absolutely no reason to withhold unprotected WOO-HOO-ing with your spouse! By the way, just getting blood on your hand is not an HIV risk. HIV can't permeate intact skin. Consequently your HIV-acquisition risk was really a non-risk!

Have a good vacation!

Dr. Bob



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