Testing for HIV in places other than plasma.

Question

Dr. Bob,

Since 2003, I have had 11 total HIV tests, all negative and these were various kinds of tests. Yet since Sept of 2009, I've been gradually losing weight in my legs, and even my shoes aren't fitting the same. Yet nothing shows up on tests.

Should I have someone check other bodily fluids other than the blood? Have you ever seen someone test negative so many times due to the virus not being present in blood but present in lymphatic tissue or other areas?

Thanks,

M.

Answer

Hello M,

You're wondering if I've ever seen someone with 11 negative HIV tests over a period of seven years turn out to be HIV infected. The answer is an emphatic and unqualified no!

M, whatever is causing your symptoms, one thing is certain: it's not HIV. No way. No how. No additional HIV tests are warranted. I'd suggest you follow up with a good internal medicine physician (internist) to evaluate your weight loss and other issues. Remember, HIV is not your problem, OK?

Be well.

Dr. Bob