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May 22, 2005

Hi,

I had a Elisa duo HIV 1 & 2 and P24 Antigen Test at 25/26 days after possible infection and was told that it was HIV Negative and 65% accurate, however the following day, I had a swollen gland at the back of my neck and some mild pain in my spleen area. Would the test have detected any antibodies or viral load before I got these symptoms?

PS: It was a vaginal sex with a condom with a sex worker!!

I had common cold symptoms 3/4 days after the sexual encounter which lasted 5 days but apparently no fever, head aches or night sweats. Only runny nose, blocked nose and a hacking cough and then I developed a sweat type rash that did not itch that much afterr playing football a week later!!

Regards

Mr Shah

Response from Dr. Conway

Protected vaginal intercourse between an infected female and an uninfected male carries with it a risk of HIV transmission of much less than 1% to begin with. The symptoms you describe can certainly occur with acute HIV infection but are certainly not the most typical manifestation of it.

I am not sure where the "65% accurate" figure comes from, but about 90% of those who will become infected with HIV would have anti-HIV antibodies within a month of the exposure. Further, p24 antigen testing should be positive at this stage, although a specific percentage is hard to determine, and this is possibly what you mean by your 65%.

You are starting out with a low risk exposure, relatively speaking, and this is assuming we knew she was infected with HIV (and we do not, at this stage). You still need to be tested to the 3 month mark to be absolutely certain, but the odds are heavily stacked in your favor.



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