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Negative PCR Test
Jul 9, 2011

Dear Dr. Frascino,

I tested negative on a rapid antibody test (in a hospital, bloodtest) five weeks and two days after a minor risk. About 37 hours later, I had a PCR Test done for HIV and Hepatitis. I just got the news that they both were negative. Is it all over and can I just WOOHOO now (and get a shrink for my extreme Aidsphobia, guilt complex, and my unability to let doctors comfort me) or should I still go for the traditional 6 and 12-weeks antibody tests, just in case the virus went into hiding exactly into those 36 hours?

Thanks for your answer!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi.

The current guidelines continue to recommend an HIV-antibody test three months or more from the date of exposure for a definitive result. You don't mention exactly what your "minor risk" was; consequently, I cannot advise if HIV testing is warranted or not. You also didn't mention what type of PCR test you had done. Only one is FDA approved for HIV-diagnostic screening: the APTIMA HIV-1 RNA Qualitative Assay.

Whether or not you choose to retest, I'd certainly recommend you follow through with your plan to see a shrink to help you confront and cope with your guilt, "AIDS phobia" and other issues.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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