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Can I Trust my Husband?
Jul 26, 2003

Drs.,

Please help. In March of this year, my husband engaged in an affair. This was with a woman he met at a conference in Atlanta. He did not know her before and, per his word, has had no contact with her since his little adventure. To his credit, he confessed this to me about a week after he returned home. Obviously, we have a lot to work on and we are trying to do that.

One thing that I required of him was proof that he had not contracted any STD's during this little indiscretion. In that regard, I have a few questions that I need some help with, as he feels he has satisfactorily proved that he was not infected.

1-He has not used our family doctor for this testing, as he was, understandably, reluctant to bring up this issue. Instead, he has relied on a company that refers him to labs where he is tested, then provides him results over the phone. The specific labs he has used are LabCorp and Quest Labs. Are these good labs? Is this an acceptable process to follow for HIV testing?

2-I am not familiar with the tests he has taken, nor with the timeframe he has used, as this was not an issue I expected to confront. He has taken 3 EIA tests and two HIV PCR DNA tests(?). The EIA tests were taken at 4 weeks, 10 weeks and 12.5 weeks past his adventure, the HIV PCR DNA at 4 weeks and 10 weeks. All the tests say Non-Detected. He says the testing company indicates that this proves he is not infected. I don't know enough about this to agree or disagree and I am respecting his wishes to keep our family doctor out. Are these tests good? Have they proven anything? Does he need to take more tests?

3-Finally, at what point can I accept the results of his testing as being conclusive? Has he done enough already?

I appreciate your advice and help. Like I said, I didn't expect to have to deal with this, but now that I am, I want to make sure I am sure of what I do before I move forward with my husband. We are trying to move forward, this would be a big step for us.

Thanks for your help.

Still Married in NC

Response from Dr. Jackson

The QUEST and Labcorp laboratories are reputable laboratories. In view of his 3 negative EIA tests for HIV antibody up to 12 weeks after exposure and his negative HIV DNA PCR tests (which detect early infection)up to 10 weeks after exposure), I am confident that he is uninfected assuming that he has had no further high risk exposures.

BJ


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