Anemia and late seroconversion? (resubmitted form the Fatigue and Anemia Forum)

Question

Dr. Bob:

I tested HIV negative at 3 months via a rapid test that used my saliva. I also found out that I'm anemic (low MCV count) according to some recent blood work that was done. I would take the negative 3-month test as conclusive (esp. since everyone keeps telling me that my chances of contracting it were theoretically possible but so low in reality), but I heard that if your immune system is compromised in some way that it can take up to six months for the antibodies to show up on a test. Moreover, I'm CONSTANTLY stressed out to the max due to work, poor sleeping schedule, etc. Would anemia and stress contribute to a late seroconversion (i.e. >3 months)? Are there specific factors that would cause someone to test negative until the six month mark? And how accurate is the rapid test that I described above? Thanks!

Answer

Hello,

  1. Would anemia and stress contribute to a late seroconversion? Nope!

  2. Are there specific factors that would cause someone to test negative until the six-month mark? Yes, immunosuppressive medications, for example.

  3. How accurate are oral fluid rapid tests? Very. A negative test at three months or greater is considered to be conclusive.

You're welcome! Happy New Year. WOO-HOO!

Dr. Bob