Is my 3.5 month negative home access enough

Question

Dear Dr. Bob, Here is the deal. I want to thank you for all of the effort you put into this website, and to your foundation. What you do for people, especially the "worried wells" is amazing. I've written a few times, but have had no response. I know that you are very busy helping people and I know that my type of question has been answered many times. Here is my situation, I had a one night unprotected incident of vaginal sex with ejaculation with a friend of unknown status, she claims to be negative, but I read your response about strapping a lie detector to mr. happy...or something like that. 2 weeks after the incident I was very tired, slept a lot more than normal. I also had night sweats, stiff neck and joints, loss of appetite, weight loss, dry skin on hands, diarrhea for 2 months with gastro rumbling and discomfort, pimple or wart on underside of penis, epididymitis, tightness in chest, headaches, and pressure in all nodes. I had a negative home access at 6 weeks, another negative at 7 weeks, and then another negative home access at 3.5 months. I'm still having stomach issues on and off, and metalic taste in mouth with pain in gums and tongue. Oh yeah, I also had bronchitis as well and was put on cipro for that and the epididymitis. They did a urinalysis, and cbc, and other blood work and it all came back normal or negative but they didn't test for hiv. My questions to you are...

  1. Do you think my negative home access tests out to 3.5 months are conclusive or should I get a six month?
  2. I know that symptoms are unreliable and all, but would antibodies be present with so many symptoms if I was in fact infected?
  3. I've never been tested solely for HIV-2, do my symptoms sound like HIV-2 (I've never been with anyone from West Africa, nor do I know anyone from West Africa.)
  4. Would Home Access detect HIV-2, I've read they are pretty good at detecting it.
  5. Will you forgive me for my numerous emails? Thanks for your time and all of your hard work. Even if I am negative, I don't think I'll woo-hoo, there are too many people out there who can't. I'll woo-hoo when there is a cure for HIV and AIDS. Thanks again for your help. -Wicked Scared in MA

Answer

Hi Wicked Scared in MA,

  1. Yes, it's conclusive. A six-month test is not necessary, but the option to get one is always available to you. The result will undoubtedly be negative.

  2. You are not infected.

  3. The symptoms of HIV-1 aren't really different from those of HIV-2. I do not believe you need HIV-2 testing, but once again the option remains open to you.

  4. Home Access is designed for HIV-1 only. Other screening tests can cover both HIV-1 and HIV-2 reliably.

  5. Sure.

Whatever is causing your symptoms, it's not HIV, OK?

Dr. Bob