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HIV and Herpes II

Jun 10, 2001

I have been tested positive for Herpes I and II but negative for HIV 5 months after a high risk encounter. However I have never shown any signs of Herpes II, no sores on penis and no pain during urination. On the other hand I am showing signs of HIV infection, e.g. lingering mild Angular Cheilitis, coated tongue, shortness of breath, wounds taking longer to heal and general deterioration of health. Since I am in South East Asia, could I be infected by a strange strain of HIV that ordinary HIV test failed to detect and happened to be picked up by the Herpes test? In your experience, do people with HIV automatically test positive for Herpes II even if they don't have Herpes II? What can I do to find out whether if I have HIV or not?

Response from Mr. Kull

Testing for antibodies to herpes virus and HIV are two distinct processes. Testing positive for herpes in no way suggests that you are HIV infected.

It is important that you consult with a doctor about the symptoms you are experiencing. It is highly unlikely that you are HIV infected based on your antibody test result five months after exposure. For more information on testing for different strains of HIV, see my response to "Rare HIV Strains into Perspective" (


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