HIV 2 Down Under

Question

G'day Doc

I live in Australia and here the govt says a 6 week test is conclusive, which I know differs from the US. I had unprotected vaginal sex 8 weeks ago and two weeks after, developed swollen glands and oral candasis. I got scared and took a rapid Oraquick HIV 1/2 test at 4, 6, and 8 weeks which were all negative. The women is European and I have heard and read that HIV 2 is prevelant there. I have read in the archives that the vast, vast majority of people will have detectable anti bodies by six weeks but does this also hold true for HIV 2? Is the Oraquick test just as reliable and accurate as the standard EIA blood test? I still have the symptoms mentioned above, so shouldnt I have shown up on a test if I really was infected by now? Are my symptoms now out to 8 weeks really mean that its HIV or could it be something else. Sorry for all the questions, but I am a little nervous. Thank you for what you do on here.

Aussie Nick

Answer

Hello Aussie Nick,

Responding to your specific questions:

  1. Yes, the anti-HIV-2 antibody response occurs within the same timeframe as HIV-1.

  2. Yes, OraQuick (with confirmatory testing if positive) is as reliable and accurate as the standard EIA.

  3. "Symptoms" are unreliable in predicting who is and is not HIV infected. Believe only your HIV test results!

Finally, I should mention HIV-2 is not prevalent in Europe. Rather, it is endemic in West Africa.

Relax mate. She'll be apples!

Dr. Bob