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HIV Transmission and Education >> Am I Infected?

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NotGonnaMakeIt
Unregistered

I'd like to believe my 3 month negative, BUT...
      #25465 - 12/11/01 07:08 PM

I think I need some reassurance that a 3 month test is conclusive. The latest CDC guideline has some very strange recommendations.

For example, a 6 months test is suggested for someone who "was exposed to a known HIV-infected person". But if I was exposed to someone I don't know, then how do I know if they're HIV infected or not?

Also, it says "In certain circumstances (e.g., when persons are simultaneously exposed to hepatitis C virus and HIV)" and once again, how do I know if I was simultaneously exposed to both of these viruses?

In other words, I will end up taking a 6 month test. In the meantime, I would like to think that the odds are greatly in my favor because of the 3 month negative, but I could use some reassurance. Thanks.

The CDC recommendation can be found at the link below, and under the link, I have quoted the sections that concern me.

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5019a1.htm


"Single Possible or Known Exposure:

Most infected persons will develop detectable HIV antibody within 3 months of exposure (126). If the initial negative HIV test was conducted within the first 3 months after exposure, repeat testing should be considered >3 months after the exposure occurred to account for the possibility of a false-negative result. If the follow-up test is nonreactive, the client is likely not HIV-infected. However, if the client was exposed to a known HIV-infected person or if provider or client concern remains, a second repeat test might be considered >6 months from the exposure. Rare cases of seroconversion 6--12 months after known exposure have been reported (134). Extended follow-up testing beyond 6 months after exposure to account for possible delayed seroconversion is not generally recommended and should be based on clinical judgment and individual clients needs (54)."

"Special Considerations:

General recommendations for follow-up testing might not be applicable in all circumstances. In certain circumstances (e.g., when persons are simultaneously exposed to hepatitis C virus and HIV [54] and when persons have received HIV vaccines), guidance should be provided only after consultation with specialists."



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JO1
Unregistered

Re: I'd like to believe my 3 month negative, BUT... new
      #25471 - 12/12/01 01:38 AM

I know exactly what you mean. I also had a negative 3 month result but I still worry from time to time. Im going to take my 6 month test 2 weeks from now to eliminate any doubts and worries. A negative 3 month test means the odds are VERY much in our favour. Most experts say further testing after 3 months isnt even necesary. It's funny, even though we know very likely that were not HIV infected, unless we get a definite negative test that everyone agrees on were not going to be satisfied. Its amazing how much of a psychological impact the fear of HIV can have on someone. Anyhow, good luck.



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Jackie_Blue
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Reged: 10/26/00
Posts: 2028
Re: I'd like to believe my 3 month negative, BUT... new
      #25494 - 12/12/01 12:46 PM

It's a shame that the CDC's new guidelines are written in typical government language.

'However, if the client was exposed to a known HIV-infected person or if provider or client concern remains, a second repeat test MIGHT BE CONSIDERED >6 months from the exposure.'

I think the above is just more of a formality to cover all concerns than anything else. Even the CDC does not say testing at 6 months is a MUST if a person has a known exposure. It is left up to the patient and doctor to decide if it MIGHT be necessary. Why just if it is a known exposure? Who knows? My guess is the CDC is just trying to cover all it's bases. While there have been some rare cases of late seroconversion, there have been none documented in several years.

The experts I have read seem to feel that if a person is negative at 3 months, there is no reason to believe that their 6 month test will be positive with the tests being used today.

As far as the Hep C. The best thing you can do is discuss it with your doctor and if the two of you feel it is necessary, then test for Hep C.

Also the CDC is not infallible. Recent news with regards to Anthrax revealed that the labs the CDC uses are not up to date. Private labs appear to be more cutting edge and have more state of the art equipment.

Bottom line is that you need to decide for yourself whether you want to test again at 6 months. It's a decision best made with the help of a MD that has experience with HIV.



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