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Re: your qualified answer to someone with a negative HIV test
Apr 15, 2005

Hi, Dr. Luzuriaga, I noticed in your answer to someone that you wrote that, if she has a negative HIV test 18 months after exposure, it is "very unlikely" that she has HIV positive. Forgive me, but that sounds quite qualified - why do you feel that you can't be more definitive when someone has had a negative ELISA 1 1/2 years after exposure? Is it because ELISA's may miss antibodies to some subtypes or groups or that this person might have agammaglobulinemia? If so, would you consider a negative ELISA and negative DNA PCR test as definitive? I ask because I had a serious exposure (to someone known to be HIV positive) and negative antibody test, DNA PCR test 2 years after that and my CD4's recovered from 600 to 1,000 today...but I still have chronic bad symptoms. Is there an HIV risk if I have unprotected sex with my new husband? Or are some cases of HIV undiagnosable and no doctor can ever say with certainty that anyone is definitely negative?

Thank you.

Response from Dr. Luzuriaga

A negative test done in an adult 18 months following exposure would indicate that the individual is not infected.


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