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HIV Transmission and Education >> Am I Infected?

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Worried 2000
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Medical Text on HIV
      #5393 - 06/12/00 01:38 PM

I was reading at the medical school's bookstore the textbook they use on HIV infection. In the chapter on the window period, they said it is basically reduced to 5 weeks. They said that an Elisa test @ 6 weeks is most likely to be positive.

Now, we can dispute this and say 3 months or 6 months or whatever to catch the outliers--but the point is that 6 weeks is a very very good predictor.

The part that most caught my eye was the discussion about the notion that the antibodies have a significant "latent period"--which is the same as slow seroconversion. They said that the studies that showed this were (1) done very early on (like 1989--I checked the footnotes--); (2) were done using an "unreliable" method (not sure what it was, but so said the book); and (3) this method was notorious for false positives . . . . Not sure how the false positives is relevant to our discussion . . .

This book was written by 3 doctors, inlcuding Bartlett from Hopkins, who is very well-respected.

So feel very good about your tests. DOn't feel awful the whole 6 months, everyone.

/W



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Mark 2000
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Re: Medical Text on HIV new
      #5399 - 06/12/00 02:00 PM

Thanks for the great info. I am glad there are people like you out there that report HIV information from a myriad of reputable sources and not always Dr. Gallant or CDC. In any academic circle, independent corroberation of source information is a must for schoalistic authenticity. When we hear of a shrinking window period from many independent centres (Canada, Spain, France, different American municipal and state agencies) then intellectually one starts to question why there a so few that are out of date, like the CDC?

Thank you again, but I have one question that I hope you can answer. (I know you just looked at the book and don't have total recall). Is the shrinking window period due to new generation ELISA tests or better testing procedures or a combination of both? Thank you

Mark 2000



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Worried 2000
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Re: Medical Text on HIV new
      #5403 - 06/12/00 03:03 PM

Hi Mark - - -hope your test results have come back the way we're all hoping . . . .It said the window is where it's at. Didn't say why it's less than we've said before. Said that PCR tests become positive around 10 days and during ARS, and that after ARS the antibody tests will become positive. Said antibody production begins in most people around week 3 and enough are detectable between 3-5 weeks.

Basically, it said the "window period" was 5 weeks, and a 6 week test is very good. Which comports with what the doctors at Northwestern Memorial in Chicago said to me back in March. . . . So the longer you wait, the more sure you are you're negative, butat some point you gotta say, "I've waited this long, despite the fact there's a theoretical non-zero risk I am infected, I gotta live with it, just like there's a non-zero risk I'm gonna die of cancer."



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Jedi Master
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TO WORRIED 2000: Very funny new
      #5411 - 06/12/00 04:06 PM

Its very funny Worried2000 but I mostly do the same as you. Im a professor of Law and when I have time I go to the library and to the medical section and start reading book about hiv and stuff. Its so funny. Also when Im at a bookstore I do the same. Yes ive heard also about those window period terms. Maybe its because many doctors have studied from this book apart from their own experience and knowledge that they say to forget it after a 3 months negative test.



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