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Accuracy in detecting HIV Subtypes
Nov 7, 2006

Dr. Conway. I sincerely need your help as even after going to several websites, I can't get the final answer. 4 months ago I went to a bar in China and there a girl who was a prostitute contacted me and we had casual kissing on cheeks and I fondled her body with my hand and also near her private parts and later I saw a very tiny cut on my finger which seemed to be two days old hence a bit healed. I kept on worrying and went through standard HIV Antibody testing in a reputable lab in India (as I am an Indian) which reported my result Negative. However I am waiting for 6 months to finish to get retested but the cause of my concern is that I have read in many places that these HIV tests cant detect some strains of HIV, so is this my anxiety or if I get negative result after 24 weeks from standard antibody test, I should be relieved of my worries.

Response from Dr. Conway

I would not be very concerned if I were you. The behavior that you describe carries an incredibly low risk of transmission of HIV, even if you had a small partially healed cut on your hand. Over and above this, the tests that are currently available detect all subtypes of HIV quite reliably, so you don't need to worry about the accuracy of the tests you have done and will have done in the future.



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