|Dr. Conway, I never had any chronic illness. So is my antibody test reliable? Thank You.
Aug 29, 2007
Dr. Conway, I have a question, I could not search any post on this. Aug 16, 2007
Dr. Conway, I have HPA suppression due to the medications which I used for a long time, and which I was not supposed to use for a long time. I am not on any kind of treament for my HPA suppression. Will this cause a false HIV antibody test result? I have tested negative after an year after an exposure.
Response from Dr. Conway
Suppression of your hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis will, in general terms, leave you deficient in cortisol, and perhaps other things. This should not affect your ability to produce antibodies, including antibodies to HIV. Thus, your test, done more than 3 months after the possible exposure to the virus, should be quite reliable and you can conclude that you did not become infected from that exposure. This being said, if you are at all concerned that you have a chronic illness that may affect your ability to make antibodies, I might order a CD4 count on you, and if the absolute count and CD4/CD8 ratio are normal, I would absolutely conclude that you are not infected with HIV, based on your history and test results.
Response from Dr. Conway
The HIV antibody tests that are currently available are extremely reliable. In almost all circumstances other than a disease that clearly impairs the body's ability to produce antibodies in a significant way, you can trust and believe the result.
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