[Question #118] HIV Risk - Anxiety Need Help Dr. Handsfield

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105 months ago

Dr. Handsfield:


Please help me


The facts


·         10 months (24th of November) ago I had a protected vaginal sex with a sexworker, I was completely drunk, however I’m aware I used condom, and as far I remember it didn’t break, however as I was so drunk it has been hunting me the idea that it brooked and I didn’t realize it.

·         I’m married this is the first time I have a sexual encounter with another person.

·         15 days after this encounter I did a ag/ab Axsym (Meia) test Blood drawn and it came out negative

·         8 weeks after this encounter I had some fever (37°5 C), it only lasted one day, the doctor gave me antibiotics and it went away.

·         60 days after this risk I took another test ag/ab Axsym (Meia) test blood drawn and it came out negative

·         A month ago I had a canker sore and after that another one and so on, total 4.

·         I understand that this was a low risk exposure and that my results came negative, however I have developed an obsession and anxiety over the risk of having HIV and affecting my love ones, so I have spent a lot of time searching on different sites, I’m very anxious and stressed (also ashamed and with a huge regret).


After analyzing my situation I believe it would help me to get answers directly from the best on the field, and that is how I came to your name.


I know the tests overrule the risks and that, however a panic of a false negative don’t let me relax. I would help me and give me reassurance if you could answer me the following questions (I will print the answers and every time I start getting stressed I will look at it)

·         Was I ever at risk of HIV?

·         Was it an important risk?

·         Is it an ag/ab Axsym (Meia) blood drawn at a lab a good test?

·         I know the 15 day test is not conclusive however is it useful at all, does it gives any indication?

·         Is the 60 day ag/ab Axsym (meia) test (8,5 weeks) conclusive?

·         What is the risk of a false negative

·         Did the fever I had could be the acute infection?

·         Did the antibiotic could have any effect on the results of the test?

·         Has the canker sores alone without any other symptom (not candida, just a aphtasus sore) may have to do with the weak system or it is more my stress and anxiety?

I would appreciate your answer, sorry if I had any misspelling mistake (English is not my first language)

Thanks Dr.

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H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
105 months ago
Welcome to the forum and thanks for your question. You have correctly predicted my response: it is indeed true that HIV test results overrule both HIV risks and symptoms. So I'll go directly to your questions.

1) Ever at risk and "important"? No. You were not at measurable risk of HIV. The odds are your partner didn't have it; if she did, even without a condom the transmission risk would have been in the ballpark of one chance in a thousand, probably lower; and you used a condom, further lowering the risk. Zero for all practial purposes.

2) 15 day test:  No test is conclusive at 15 days.

3) 60 day test: Definitely conclusive.

4) The chance of a false negative result is zero or close to it.

5) A temperature of 37.5C isn't a fever; it is within the normal range. 37C or 98.6F is average human temperature over the course of a day. Anyway, fever due to new HIV infection typically lasts a week or more.

6) No antibiotics or any other medications have any effect on reliability of HIV tests.

7) Oral ulcers are one symptom of new HIV infections, but it's usually not just a single canker sore. And as already noted, the test results overrule this and all other symptoms. (However, canker sores are not due to stress.)

The bottom line is that your risk was nil and your test results are conclusive. You needn't be at all worried about HIV. Don't have any more tests, and continue normal relations with your wife without worry.

I hope this has helped. Best wishes--  HHH, MD

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105 months ago
Thanks Dr. Handsfied

There is one question left

In my test resulta is written

Axsym ag/ab (meia)  result negative

The test were taken at a lab with blood drawn

I know there are many different tests, I have search for Axsym and havent found out if this is a good or reliable test.

Is this a good test? Reliable?


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105 months ago

Thanks for your help

If possible just this two question, and we close this
1) I took a ag/ab Axsym (meia) at a laboratory. Blood drawn. Is this a good test? Reliable?
2) I know my test at 8,5 weeks is definetely conclusive, nevertheless put of curiosity, the test I took at 15 days is 100% worthless, i know it was not conclusive but I thought it could be a good indicator (i read it in some pages)

Thanks again doctor
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H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
105 months ago
The AxSym® test system is manufactured by Abbott Laboratories. (Google "axsym hiv ag ab combo" -- many hits.) All duo/combo tests licencsed for use in the United States, including this one, are highly reliable. 

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105 months ago



Is not so easy on google to find what AxSym really is, it is shown as a Machine not as a test, and when I look for ag/ab tests it always comes as "Arquitect" or other names not as AxSym, that is why I was wondering if this AxSym test was good or not. It seems that Abbot has several tests with different names, it is confusing in the google.


Anyway, I wanted to thank you and Dr. Hook for all the help you have been give through the years on the Internet, definitely both of you have made a major contribution and have  help a lot to all the anxious and irrational people like me that finds hard to believe their negative tests and spend hours searching on the Internet inexistent and imaginary risks.


Thanks for your patience to answer over and over the same questions to people that are in a very irrational state.


You can close this thread. Thanks again

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H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
105 months ago
Sorry my last reply was not clear. You are correct, AxSym is the name of the test machinery. The Architect test is done on the AxSym equipment. I don't know why your test report mentioned AxSym -- usually it would only say Architect. But the main point is that your negative test is 100% reliable.

Thank you for your kind words about the forum and Dr. Hook's and my service. We're here to help.

Best regards and stay safe--   HHH, MD