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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Dr. Brian, I have a concern.
Aug 9, 2007

My first exposure was in 1997 and my last expsoure was in 2001. I was using immunosuppresants from 2000. Like if I got HIV infected from the first exposure in 1997, the antibodies might have already formed right? In 2000 it was just a kissing episode. In 1997 it was a high risk expsoure. I got first tested for HIV antibodies in 2001.

If i got infected from the 1997 exposure, would do you think that an HIV antibody test would have shown the antibodies?

I am getting this doubt because, if the antibodies were already formed prior to taking the immunosuppressants and the test was taken 5 months after taking the immunosuppressant medication. Can the immunosuppresant even suppress the antibodies which were already there in my system.

My antibody tests are negative even until two years back.

Thank You.

Response from Dr. Conway

Your question is very theoretical and difficult to answer specifically. If you are now concerned that you are infected with HIV and you are one of these rare people who cannot make adequate amounts of antibodies, you should get an antigen test and/or an HIV PCR test to clear up the situation. These are not affected by immunosuppressants. If they are negative, you can conclude with some certainty that you are not infected with HIV.

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