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No wonder the worried well exist!
Dec 19, 2001

Dr. Henry,

After reading this on The Body I can see why the "Worried Well" continue to hold onto the fear of HIV infection despite a negative test beyond the window period. Can you comment on this?

http://www.thebody.com/apla/aug99/kimberly.html

Response from Dr. Henry

I read that posting. Without the exact specifics/details it is still hard to comment. In my experience it is extraordinarily rare for the HIV antibody test to be falsely negative more than 12 weeks post infection. If the index of suspicion is high then I order an HIV RNA level which would generally be quite high in the setting of new HIV infection without a positive antibody test. More common are situation where the patient didn't go back toget an earlier test result or their was some other misunderstanding/information on the part of the doc/clinic/or patient. KH



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