[Question #1269] Follow up to #1128

79 months ago

After your last reply, I was moving on and forgetting about HIV. I started to have sex with my wife again. 

But then my wife got really ill with headaches and a dry cough thats catching. She still has it 3 weeks later and I was worried that I had passed it on to her. 

I decided to get another Duo for reassurance. So I had a venous blood sample drawn and sent to the lab. This sample was taken at 14 weeks post exposure. 

It came back negative. 

However, as part of annual check up, I had a full blood count done. This came back (on the same day as my negative Duo result!) to say that I was low on Iron, ALP and that my Absolute Neutrophil Count was at 1.5. All other results were normal. 

My family doctor couldnt tell me whether this would have affected my last HIV test so I was hoping that you might. 

I have had my blood test repeated but no results yet and I would like to know if there is anything that could question the validity of my duo test. 

Thank you for your help (again).

H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
79 months ago
Welcome back. But I'm sorry to see you didn't understand (or maybe didn't believe?) Dr. Hook's opinions or advice. You had an exposure that was virtually zero risk for HIV, and tests that prove you were not infected. And now you have had yet another negative HIV test. Also, there are no medical conditions that alter HIV test reliability, and that includes slightly low neutrophil counts on CBC. That minor issue is irrelevant.

All this proves that no symptoms of any kind, now or in the future, in either you or your wife, can be due to HIV from that exposure. Her symptoms sound like a garden variety respiratory virus; HIV doesn't cause symptoms like heres (headache and cough). (If you have the same virus she does, it might explain your low neutrophil count.) Keep working with your doctor if you continue to have any symptoms that concern you. Do not have any more HIV tests.

Best wishes--  HHH, MD

79 months ago
Hi Dr HHH, 

I still have a redness around my urethra though - it comes and goes, I never have it in the morning but at nights if Ive been worrying about having an Sti then it shows up. Its sometimes on the right of my urethra and sometimes on the left.

So, just a few final final final questions:

1.  Is this redness a symptom of syphillis, chlymdia or gonnorhea? 
(I should probably add that I did a home sample blood test for Syphillis at 12 weeks exposure which came back negative.)
2. I sometimes feel mild pain when urinating - if it was Chylmdia or Gonnorhea is the pain quite intense?  
3. My last HIV test was collected at 10:15 and then received at 15:15 the following day with the result reported at 18:10. The sample was couriered to the lab. Are these time differences ok? 

I know this is as ridiculous as it sounds, I know that rationally I dont need retested but I just dont want to infect my wife and make her infertile or anything. 

Thanks, this is my last post but I really appreciate all your help. 


H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
79 months ago
1,2) Mild symptoms that come and go, without discharge, do not indicate these or any other STD. And if I correctly recall your exposure (described in your other thread but not here), you were at no more risk of these infections. It sounds like you're just more sensitive to normal variations in urinary comfort, urethral appearance, etc, out of anxiety.

3) These times sound normal and would not affect the test result.

You don't have HIV and any additional testing you feel compelled to do a) isn't necessary and b) will be negative.

Thanks for the thanks. Now do me (and yourself) the honor of believing the reasoned, science based reassurance you have had and do your best to move on. Good luck.