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HIV-Rapid tests and multiple false negatives?
Oct 28, 2012

Hi,

I had a potential exposure to HIV last year Nov (sexualy encounter), and had my tonsils become inflammed (though I did have a history of chronic tonsilitis), was sick for a weekish and my cervical lymph nodes swelled, 3cms being the largest. I visited an ENT for for advice 6 months later, she suggested tonsillectomy and HIV test. I had the tonsillectomy, the lymph nodes decreased in size (now only 1cm bilaterally, I was warned they may not return to there orignal size due to hyperplasia), though I did not get the HIV test as I was scared. Instead I got a Rapid HIV from ICARE a USAID approved product and tested myself, 3 times btw 6 to 9 months post possible exposure. All were negative, Should I be concerned, is it likely there could be 3 false negatives? The histology report for my tonsillectomy, describe that there was massive scarring with very little lymphatic tissue left, though no celluar atypia present, I have read this can co-incide with what HIV can do, however I have had a history of tonsil infections. Should I be concerned at all, or am I in the clear with these 3 rapid HIV tests?

Response from Dr. Wohl

If the tests were performed according to the instructions they should be accurate. Results of studies of the new home based rapid test show that accuracy falls do to user error (not because or a problem with the test itself).

The best test for HIV is a blood test and I would get one done if all these three rapid tests were performed by you and not a professional.

DW



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