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HIV Transmission and Education >> Am I Infected?

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Anonymous
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Why the Worried-Well exists
      #33817 - 05/06/02 05:13 PM

The outliers (non-B clade strains) and widely variable seroconversion times together make fear of HIV infection tough to overcome. These two phenomenons have essentially created the formation of the worried-well. For instance, when a patient tests for another disease (such as cancer or diabetes) rarely do they think twice about it if their physician says it is not present. Why then do we hold HIV in an entirely different light? Why is it so tough to overcome the fear of HIV after receiving a negative result after the window period? Guilt, shame, disgust, fear, etc? All perhaps play a role.

Wouldn't it be nice if there was one precise test which will give a patient the answer he/she is looking for? It doesn't exist. We are told the ELISA is the gold standard after 6 months, yet there are several cases which seem to dictate otherwise. These cases play into our psyche because we know it could easily happen to one of us. Instead we are forced to take multiple ELISAs, PCRs, p24s and it doesn't even guarantee we are in the clear. We can't even arrive at 100% certainty. It doesn't exist. This is why the worried-well exists and why it is difficult to leave the club behind. Will it ever change?



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worried2002.
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Re: Why the Worried-Well exists new
      #33822 - 05/06/02 05:28 PM

Well worded, but when one's mad he's mad... I feel i'm going down the drain again...



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Anonymous
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Re: Why the Worried-Well exists new
      #33825 - 05/06/02 06:39 PM

Several cases of delayed seroconversion is hardly evidence that the testing standards are no good. There are no more than 50 cases, most of which involved PEP, that have taken longer than the CDC's testing guidelines for a positive result. For the sake of arguement, let's take the rediculously high number of 50 people that MAY have taken longer to become antibody positive. You say "These cases play into our psyche because we know it could easily happen to one of us." How can you make the assumption that it can "easily happen to one of us" if there have only been this tiny number of cases as your evidence.

There are, on average, 25 million HIV tests administered per year in the US alone; HIV testing has been available and reliable for nearly 20 years. Do the math (25 million tests x 20 years of testing) = 500,000,000. If there have been 50 cases of delayed seroconversion given the previous math, that means that the chances of converting after the window period is .0000001, or 1 in 10 million; hardly something that can be considered something that can "easily happen to one of us." Those numbers by the way represent only the US testing, whereas the late seroconversion rate is a worldwide figure, so the chances are actually much lower, but I don't have the number of tests performed internationally, but take the number of developed countries, and add a couple more zeros to the chances (i.e. .000000000000000000000000001).



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Anonymous
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Re: Why the Worried-Well exists new
      #33827 - 05/06/02 08:04 PM

even if this was the case, how would it get reported?! the person would die of "unknown" causes probably before the doctors would believe the person... only if they get like PCP or something would they suspect HIV. PLUS- how many of you think that if it happened to you that your doctor would report this to anyone? I doubt mine would... what doctors have reported anything?! is there something in place for them to send interesting cases too? probably not....



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Anonymous
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Re: Why the Worried-Well exists new
      #33840 - 05/07/02 12:39 AM

Yeah, you're right. They're probably just guessing and keeping their fingers crossed. Get a clue.



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Anonymous
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Its very true new
      #33848 - 05/07/02 01:32 AM

WOW. that pretty much summed me up. You hit it right on. When i first got to this board i read 99.9 percet at 6 months. I thought, ok, it will be hard but i will wait and if its negative, i will move on. But than i read about late seroconversions and non-b subtypes and it makes me angry that the US governmet is sacrificing the small minority of people with non-b clades. All these people are slipping through the cracks. I understand that non b subtypes are rare in the US but do they even know how rare it really is? Ive read that monitoring of non b subtypes in the US is very much so underdone. In the meantime one has to wait untill there t-cell count drops and they develop OI's before a doctor realizes that they actually do have hiv, despite all the times in the past everyone kept telling him or her that its all in their heads. I wish they would take responsibility and use updated tests that pick up all subtypes accuratly. but noooo, they wanna save a few bucks even if that means giving someone a license to go out and infect others.



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Anonymous
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YOU IDIOT!! new
      #33850 - 05/07/02 01:41 AM

For the last time. just because there are 25 million test admin a year just what does that conclude? THe reason we are all worried is because only hundreds of people have been studied to determine the window period. A doctor on the body stated this. So say around 700 people were studied to determine window period. 50 out of 700 would be 1 out of 14!! Dr Holidey said only hundreds of people have been studied who were healthcare workers or people who definitly knew date of exposure and that further researchs needs to be conducted. I think the amount of later seroconversions due to what I think are infections with non b subtypes are greatly underestimated. Think about it. How does a million people taking a hiv test determine the window period? it dosent. So stop concluding that the odds are 1 in a million, because noone really knows for sure. Thats why further research needs to be done.



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