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suppressed immune system
Aug 13, 2006

I recently read that someone with a severe immune suppression after being infected with hiv could possibly test negative on an antibody test. It was said also that this suppression would come from a genetic defect. Could this occur in someone who has been health their whole life, over 50 years? In other words could someone who has always had a normal immune system have a genetic defect that would cause no antibody response to an hiv infection due to immune suppression?

Response from Dr. Daar

The HIV antibody test is very reliable and it is extremely rare for someone to be infected for more than a few months and not have detectable antibodies. You are correct that there are cases reported of people being antibody negative with HIV but very unusual and unlikley in someone who is otherwise healthy.

Best, Eric

Testing with Caution
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