Shingles/ Viral Load Significance Test

Question

I went to an infectious disease doctor about two months, 8 weeks , after I came down with Shingles and sore throat. He saw how absolutely worried I was, and that my last "possible" exposure to and STD or HIV, was 7 to 8 weeks prior to my visit. At that period, 7 to 8 weeks, he gave me a P24, Viral Load and HIV 1 and 2ELISA test. The P24 and ELISA test came back Negative and the Viral load came back <50 on the Amplocor Ultra test, or as he said "normal" and undectable. He felt I was NOT infected with HIV. At about 12 weeks,still worried, I had another ELISA done and Negative again. Can I quite worrying? Would the Viral Load test, shown "some" detection of HIV if I was infected or maybe not?

Answer

Hello,

Yep, you can stop worrying. Not all cases of shingles are related to HIV. In fact, the great majority are not! I totally agree with your infectious diseases doctor. The 12-week negative ELISA is absolutely conclusive. You do not have HIV. The 8-week negative P24 and viral load just give corroborative information. Yell, "WOO-HOO" immediately!

Congratulations! Stay well!

Dr. Bob