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HIV Transmission and Education >> Am I Infected?

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Money where mouth is
      #31760 - 04/11/02 09:27 AM

Quote from an Aids.org related page:

If you are beyond the window period and were reported HIV negative by an ELISA, and you are not subsequently at risk for HIV, you should consider yourself HIV negative. You may have a great deal of anxiety about the remote chance that you may be infected, yet test HIV negative. Although this is technically possible, and has in fact been documented in several people, the probability is so small that it stretches the imagination. Think about the tens of millions of HIV tests that have been administered, and only a handful of people with HIV have not had detectable antibodies.

If that tiny probability is still bothering you, think about whether there may be other issues you're facing. Are you feeling guilt over an experience that may have placed you at risk -- or one that you feel put you at risk, even though it did not? Or are there other sources of anxiety that cannot be alleviated by further HIV testing?

Some individuals, seizing on this tiny probability of a "false negative" antibody test, or perhaps wanting results without waiting for the window period, may be curious about PCR or other types of viral testing, but viral testing is not appropriate in this situation because it was designed for other purposes. Viral testing allows physicians to track with greater accuracy than ever before the progression of HIV in the body -- thus helping their HIV-infected patients make choices about appropriate treatment strategies. Most people concerned about HIV do not need viral load testing. The antibody test is still the cheapest, easiest and overall most reliable way for individuals to learn their HIV status.

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Jade G.
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Re: Money where mouth is new
      #31762 - 04/11/02 09:45 AM

Another great post, but you should have titled it "For needhelp02 and all other late seroconverters"!



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