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HIV Transmission and Education >> Am I Infected?

Anonymous
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Re: late sero's
      01/09/02 10:10 PM

Good question. I have looked high and low, but cannot find very much on late seroconversion.

The only real documented cases of late seroconversion that I know of are cases of health care workers, because they are the only ones studied. With everyone else, it is only their word about exposure, so I suppose that they are not really considered to be truly documented. So it makes sense that all available case studies of late seroconversion are health care workers. Naturally, the next theory would be that they took PEP and that delayed their seroconversion, but I have not even seen that confirmed for sure.

We do know for sure that the older antibody tests were not as sensitive as today's tests are. And there was a time when they did not have the P24 antigen test, or PCR to detect hiv viral load. So if a case of late seroconversion is old enough, these could be contributing factors.

But many of us never get P24 or PCR testing, so we are hoping that the current antibody test is sensitive enough. I read somewhere that todays antibody tests are almost as sensitive to antibodies as the PCR test is to virus. This is very sensitive, so that's good news.

But the problem with antibody testing is that the body must produce some antibodies in order for them to be detected. This opens the question of how long hiv could hide in the body before the immune system recognizes it and forms antibodies. Much of the available information claims that normally after infection, hiv will quickly multiply to very high levels in the body, and then antibodies form shortly after that. This is the norm, and so most people test positive within the first month or so after infection.

But what about those who take longer than 3 months, maybe even longer than 6 months? It is a mystery that the doctors don't seem to be studying very much. What if innoculum size affects it? That's what I am afraid of, since my only exposure was to pre-seminal fluid. What if it takes more than 6 months for this tiny amount of virus to multiply to a level that my body recognizes? And if this is the case, does it affect the long term prognosis? Also, is the body capable of eradicating such a small amount of HIV early enough during infection that the virus dies off, and antibodies never form? If so, then the person would be HIV negative for all intents and purposes. But is this possible?

I sure wish we had some answers. I will be sure to post my story here if I am one of the late seroconverters. Maybe some kind doctor will decide to study it.



Post Extras: Remind Me!     Notify Moderator

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Subject Posted by Posted on
* late sero's Anonymous 01/09/02 08:37 PM
. * Re: late sero's KitG   01/10/02 12:22 PM
. * Re: late sero's Anonymous   01/09/02 10:10 PM
. * Re: late sero's Anonymous   01/10/02 01:20 AM

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