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Tied Up In Knots
Jan 8, 2001

I recently had to undergo a two-step TB check.-Each a week apart- When I called the CDC AIDS HOTLINE they told me to call a TB hotline and when I did I got tied up in knots with confusing information and now I do not know what to believe.

Is it a bad sign to NOT react? Well My skin didn't even bubble-not a teensy bit and all that it did was get black and blue and fade away and they read both that they were ok. But I was scared because they NEVER reacted that way before and I had these in the past . The person at the TB hotline said it would be a GOOD sign if I reacted and I had to get a chest Xray done because it would show that my immune system was working. Well that the first of November and I tested at 14 week and 17 weeks AFTER this TB test and I was negative. But the info and what happened in my case is still eating away at me.

Response from Dr. Henry

Assuming that the person who read your test is experienced, then that test sounds truly negative which is a good thing. Persons with HIV infection who are infected with TB can lose their skin test reactivity due to the immune damage caused my HIV. If you are not HIV infected then my interpretation would be that you are TB negative. If you are HIV infected (and this forum is for persons who are HIV infected) then sometimes one loses their skin reactivity. To evaluate that, some other skin tests are applied as well (such as mumps, yeast, or diptheria/tetanus). You might want to discuss with your doctor. KH

Keith Henry, M.D.



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