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HIV Antibodies Production

Nov 23, 2012

Hi doctor,

I had a PCR RNA post 9th week and a Duo Combo test post 11/12th week after an latest unprotected heterosexual exposure, and both the results are negative.

I have a question about the antibodies' production after seroconversion. I know that the antibodies, once produced, will stay in the body lifelong. I just wonder if the antibodies are denatured or degraded by any cause, will our body generate them again and again?

I have this question because I suspect that if the antibodies are destroyed after seroconversion by any cause, then any HIV antibodies test after that will give false negative result. So my concern is whether our body will keep producing the antibodies lifelong or just once after the seroconversion just after the infection.

Thanks for your concern!


Response from Dr. Wohl

Dear Chau

Many people write to this forum with similar concerns that their negative HIV test results are, for some reason, false. Sometimes they question the test because their exposure was very risky, more often it is because of anxiety and guilt.

The HIV tests you mention work in two totally different ways and do not even look for antibodies to the virus. The PCR detects actual HIV genetic material and the combo test includes a method for detecting a protein on the surface of the virus. If these are negative, there is no virus in the blood. Period.

As to antibodies, evolution has made sure that when pathogens enter our bodies we make a response to them so we can survive them and respond even better next time we are exposed. This antibody response is long lasting and strong. There is no denaturing of HIV antibodies.

Your tests are negative and you do not have HIV.


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