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oral sex
Jul 19, 2000

After receiving oral sex from an asian sex worker,I developed symptoms of hiv. Tender nodes,low cd4,etc.,for almost 3 1/2 years now.My antibody test is repeatedly negative. Are there (asian) strains of hiv-1 or hiv-2 that might not show up on a standard antibody test here in the U.S.

Response from Mr. Kull

First of all, your risk for HIV infection through receiving oral sex is extremely low. Read Rick’s response to Are there any reported cases of getting HIV through receiving oral sex?. You’ll find that there are no cases of HIV being transmitted by receiving oral sex.

HIV-1 and HIV-2 are the only know types of HIV in the world. HIV-1 accounts for the vast majority of cases worldwide. HIV-2 is predominantly found in persons from West Africa. There are many subtypes (strains) of HIV-1 in the world. HIV-1 antibody tests will detect the antibodies for these subtypes with greater than 99% accuracy. The recently discovered subtypes “N” and “O” may have a false negative on the EIA/ELISA, but there was only one case of this in the United States.

The HIV-1 antibody test will also detect HIV-2 antibodies about 70% of the time. HIV-2 antibody tests should be used to detect HIV-2 infection, but again, these cases are extremely rare outside of West Africa. The standard antibody test in the U.S. is the HIV-1 test, although clinics are beginning to use an HIV-1/HIV-2 combination test.

Your repeatedly negative antibody tests serve as reliable evidence that you are HIV negative.

RMK



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