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Testing
Nov 10, 2012

Dear Dr. Wohl,

I recently had a condom break during sex and started having strange symptoms about 3-4 weeks after and started to worry they may be hiv related. Symptoms were psoriasis outbreak, low fever in the afternoon for 3 days (under 100), diarhea and nausea for two days, 10 pounds of weight loss. This went away after about a week. At 26 days after exposure I had a DNA RT PCR test with antibody test negative, then had an Aptima RNA Qualitative test at 7 weeks post exposure with ICMA antibody that came up negative. Now a few weeks later I am having slightly swollen neck glands, neck pains, dry cough and mouth ulcers, and just recently had another anitbody test at 11 weeks which was also negative. I am not trying to be and don't want to be a worried well, but is there any way with all these negative tests, both for virus and antibodies that I could turn up positive later? Should I continue to test out to 6 months?

Response from Dr. Wohl

In your case, if you do not test at 6 months you will remain worried (perhaps worried sick) so get the test at 6 months and believe it. It will be negative.

You must get tested for other STIs. Syphilis and other infections can cause symptoms and while most are worried about HIV after an exposure they often forget about these other infections which can be nasty.

DW



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