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Anonymous
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Seroconversion - What is it?
      #78703 - 11/24/03 11:18 PM

I am confused to what this mean? Is it when the viral load is decreased after the immune system has responded? Is a person able to feel when seroconverion is happening? Also, does seroconversion matter as opposed to antibody or other testing? It seems like time for antibodies to show depends on the type of test. Or is it that a person 'seroconverts', and then they test positive?

If the above definition of seroconversion is correct, then why would seroconversion matter given that an antibody test or viral test are the ways to know whether or not an infection has occurred. I am just confused on this and any clarification would be appreciated.




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LoveIsNotAWord
Grand Master

Reged: 11/05/03
Posts: 173
Loc: We are in West Texas
Re: Seroconversion - What is it? new
      #78705 - 11/24/03 11:23 PM

Anon,

Simply put the body creates Abs (antibodies) to fight the virus (HIV) and these are detected. Therefore, at the time of acute onset generally the viral load is higher, not lower. "Sero" in medical language has to do with serum, blood.

Karen:)

Karen :)



--------------------
Karen G....
"Live with it!"

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Anonymous
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Re: Seroconversion - What is it? new
      #78711 - 11/24/03 11:47 PM

Thanks!!! It would seem then that since 99.6% of folks will show antibodies at 6 weeks, that seroconversion occurs 99.6% within 6 weeks??". The answer would seem to be yes (?)

Okay, I have some additional questions --- I am thinking out loud here so please bear with me!

Now a second question. Is there a direct relation between seroconversion and ARS??? ARS ususally occurs 2-4 weeks after infection because the immune system is weakened. It most likely resolves itself in 1-2 weeks due to antibodies forming and taking care of the virus.

So if 99.6% of folks seroconvert at 6 weeks, would this mean that 99.6% of people have ARS before 6 weeks? Or maybe not? I guess one could show antibodies though the body might not stage a counter-attack until the viral load is at a certain point and there are enough antibodies to fight them??? I apologize if this sounds confusing - I am just trying to sort things out.



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LoveIsNotAWord
Grand Master

Reged: 11/05/03
Posts: 173
Loc: We are in West Texas
Re: Seroconversion - What is it? new
      #78712 - 11/24/03 11:54 PM

Dear Anon,

I would not call it a direct relationship, however, it is not inverse either.

You will develop the flu syndrome at 2 to 3 weeks post exposure if you develop it. There are many "ifs" with this virus.

The new tests are very specific and much more accurate than the old; however, you know the routine; second guessing before the time to test properly is just that. Be patient and find other outlets so that you are not overwhelmed and imagining things.

Abs do not take care of the virus ever. We have no CURE. The body forms Abs to any foreign Ag entering the cell or system (antigen). HIV is a foreign Ag; your immune system attempts to fight it off by producing Abs it does not solve the situation; HIV continues to replicate; however, initially replication is high hence the high viral loads detected, and that is around the time most people feel very ill, worn out, and have this flu like syndrome.

Karen :)



--------------------
Karen G....
"Live with it!"

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Anonymous
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Re: Seroconversion - What is it? new
      #78713 - 11/25/03 12:15 AM

Karen,

Thanks again.

This board has helped a bunch. One thing I've noticed is that with technology changing (e.g. antibody testing), that some older information on the web was done when antibody testing and understanding of disease progression was in its infancy, et al. This has made things confusing! So I am glad that yourself and others have answered questions to help everyone with the most recent info on how things work.

Thanks Again,
John



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nyc138st
Unregistered

Re: Seroconversion - What is it? new
      #78737 - 11/25/03 04:49 PM

OK big man..

I am not a Dr... but close enough to being a PA soon... this is how seroconversion works... from what I have read and spoken with others on this subject... When a person is infected with HIV.. the body puts up a fight to kill the virus. It starts very soon after it enters the blood stream and is known to be something foreign... Your body is fighting it before one gets ARS symptoms... When the ARS symptoms come about... the body's immune system is in full force fighting the virus with white blood cells (hence producing antibodies). So temp shoots up... feel like crap for a while.. but one eventually gets over it.... On average it takes 2-3 weeks or so to have dectable antibodies after you get sick... but some people don't get sick at all... so keep that in mind... as far as the tests go.. antibody test will test positive when there are enough ABs in the blood... a PCR will show positive before, durning, and right after ARS... if I am correct... PCR actually looks for the virus itself in the blood... the only thing is.. if its not HIV and it another virus.. ie cold, flu, it will test positive as well... so one can use the PCR... but if it comes back positive don't freak out cause the only true way to know if you are HIV positive is to use the antibody test.. I hope it helps..



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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: Seroconversion - What is it? new
      #78738 - 11/25/03 05:14 PM

NYC - thanks.

One thing that seems odd in the stats is the "anywhere between 50% and 90%" will shows symptoms. I am amazed at the wide range. It would seem like by now there would have been enough people studied to have a narrower range. I guess one study probably showed 50% and another 90%. Couldn't they combine all of the studies?

On a different note, I did see one study that showed a higher viral load related to more symptoms. Persons with a very low viral load had no symptoms. There's other studies that I think show a more symptomatic ARS to be worse than a less severe one.



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nYC138ST
Unregistered

Re: Seroconversion - What is it? new
      #78769 - 11/26/03 04:48 PM

Good question about the studies... but thing is.. when any virus gets into your body the body will fight it. Many people do have ARS... but sometimes its not bad and at others it is...That is why the large gap... some people who are shocked to know that they are HIV positive might have thought that they just had the flu.. when infact it was hiv.. and they didn't think about it then. It somewhat happened to me... used protection during sex with someone and then freaked out thinking I had hiv.... so far thank god all my tests have came back neg... 2, 6,. 11, and 14 weeks.. I just went yesterday to have another one done at 17 weeks... so yes I worry too about this one... however I believe god is with me and i'll be neg... and i tested outside the window and was neg... so hope that helps :)

CP



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