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DR. SHANNON HELP! HIV & SYPHILIS CORRELATION! PLEASE HELP 2nd time I ask!
Jan 7, 2013

Hi, First of all thank you for all of your help throughout this forum, it is of great relief. I have several questions that I need urgent help with PLEASE, I am to anxious to even sleep.

1. On May and June 2012 I had protected sex (with condom) but unprotected oral sex. I took an ELISA blood exam on October (4/5 months after) and it came back negative. Then in late November I took a Rapid Oraquick test kit and came back negative. On mid-decemeber I took another Elisa Blood Exam (5/6 months after) and It came back negative once more. I still felt very anxious and just yesterday, January 5, I took another Oraquick home test and came back negative. I am still extremely anxious please help me. Are my four negative results conclusive? Should I re-test?

2. I have read that HIV can remain dormant for even 10 years or more. However, this does not mean that the virus will not be detected until 10 years correct? In other words, if I am HIV negative now (Do not have further unprotected sex which can increase my risk of getting HIV), can my results change in one or more years? I mean the virus can remain dormant but it will be detected by now right? I am extremely worried about this.

3. When I went to get my blood test for HIV (on both occasions), I also got the 8 STD Panel: Gonorrea, Herpes, Hepatits, Syphilis, etc. I came back negative on everything. However; on both occasions the RPR Syphilis test came back positive, but then they did a Confirmatory Treponema Pallidum Antibodies and came back negative. For the first test done on October the RPR value was Reactive but the range was Non Reactive. The RPR, Quant. value was 1:2 and the range was NonRea<1:1, yet the Confirmatory Treponema Pallidum Antibodies was Negative for value and range. On the second test, done in December, the Syphilis (RPR) value was again Reactive but the Range non reactive. The RPR, Quant. value was 1:1 and the range was NonRea<1:1. However, the Confirmatory Treponema Pallidum Antibodies again came back Negative. I was told that this meant that I was negative for syphilis. Is this correct? I am still worried and anxious, what should I do? As you can see the value decreases from 1:2 to 1:1, shouldn't it be increasing if I had syphilis?

4. Lastly, can my "positive" Syphilis test cause my HIV test to be negative. Does it have any influence on it? Meaning, can Syphilis cause a false-negative on an HIV test?

PLEASE HELP ME! I am so confused, worried, anxious, panic....please please help me! Thank you!

Response from Ms. Southall

Hi The guidelines for testing are to be initially tested 3 weeks post exposure then again at 90 days, if this test is negative than so are you. HIV may not cause harm immediately once someone is infected and it may be 10 years before someone has symptoms, but for testing it is a completely different story. Because the test is looking for your body's antibodies against HIV and your body will develop these within the first 90 days of transmission. No other infection present will effect the outcome of your test again because the test is looking for your body making antibodies against HIV. From your testing history you are HIV free. I would recommend that you continue following up with your health care provider for evaluation of your symptoms.

Be well, Shannon



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