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PCR and antibody negative 30 days out - reliable?
Aug 28, 2011

Hello Dr. Franscino,

I'm new to this site and it seems like a great one.

At 30 days after an encounter that has had me worried for some time, I took both the antibody and PCR tests through STD Alert/Labcorp, and thankfully, both were negative. My symptoms in the month afterwards were text book seroconversion, except for no sores, and no sore throat. I eat and excercise well; a 48 yr old fit male. The diarrhea, joint and muscle aches, feverishness, brain fog, neuropathy, and otherwise inexplicable fatigue were prolonged, but seem to have subsided by now; 80 days out. I still, though, battle with the thrush that started to rage the month following the encounter. Two weeks of Nystatin and a diet of nothing but meat vegetables and multivitamins have improved, but not eliminated it. I now consume no alcohol, sugars, starches or yeasts if I can help it. Needless to say, I'm still scared to death.

How definitive would a negative on both those tests be 30 days out? If they are accurate results and my symptoms are a result of some other type of infection, why would the candidiasis not have abated after a month of treatment and a restricted diet? I should also mention that I have had HSV for about 20 years, but never experienced anything like that two weeks that were the height of my recent illness.

Thank you so much for any help, advice, correction or reassurrance you might be able to provide!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi.

Actually it's Frascino, not Franscino. So why not just call me Dr. Bob, okay?

PCR tests are generally not used for routine HIV-diagnostic screening. HIV-antibody tests taken prior to the three-month mark are not considered definitive. Check out my current blog, "HIV Guidelines: Some Evolve; Some Don't. What's Up With That?" for a more thorough discussion of HIV-diagnostic testing.

I can't diagnose the cause of your candidiasis or determine why it hasn't responded to treatment over the Internet with such limited information. You'll need to follow up with your doctor for that.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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