[Question #2597] Anxious about HIV

42 months ago
Hi Doctors,

I have asked a question on here before and all of the information you have given me has helped me tremendously from a psychological standpoint.

I had 1 unprotected vaginal exposure just over a year ago. A lot of symptoms 3/4 weeks after that. I won't get into these again as I have learned they are no indication of HIV status.

I tested for HIV 5 times. Twice with HIV1 RNA at 30 and 50 days post exposure, both negative. Then three times with a DUO @ 70, 90 and just short of 6 months post exposure. All negative.

I am back because I tested again using a DUO at the 13 month mark, mainly because I still have some symptoms which did not completely resolve. Trying to put this to bed.

I'm scared because the online testing service which typically just posts the result of the test online, didn't do so this time. This time, they posted the result online, called me (I didn't pickup) and issued a ticket for someone to get in contact with me. There were other test done like CBC etc., not just HIV.

Is there any chance HIV antibodies would not have been caught on the DUO test on my previous testing? I'm scared to look at the results of this test based on the change in behavior of the lab.

Am I being irrational?

I appreciate your help.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
42 months ago
Welcome back to the forum, but sorry to see you found it necessary. Thanks again for your confidence in our services. However, these questions, and your exposure, were addressed in your previous thread 8 months ago. As Dr. Hook informed you at that time, your tests proved you did not have HIV. That remains the case now.

There was no point in being tested again, regardless of whatever symptoms you had. The HIV tests are far more reliable than symptoms, and the results always overrule any and all symptoms, and they overrule even the highest risk exposures. There is no such thing has having HIV and having a negative DUO test more than 6 weeks after the last possible exposure -- and you also had the negative RNA tests. As for how the testing service informed you of the results, I don't see that it makes any difference.  You'll have to ask them why there procedures have changed, but of course you should check the results. They'll be negative -- or in the event of an aberrant result, it will be a rare false positive.

You are indeed being somewhat irrational. But go ahead and get the results, and feel free to return to let me know how it turns out.

Best wishes--  HHH, MD

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42 months ago
Well Doctor... 

I built up the courage to look at the results. What do you know. Science and probabilities win. It was negative!

I had  some liver enzymes just a hair out of range. I'll find out if that is why the lab felt the need to call me and leave a voice mail.

As much as I like you, Dr. Hook and your forum, this is good bye from me for good! If I see you guys in an airport I'll be sure to say hello!

I have learned a lot from you guys and this experience and I will be sure to pass the knowledge along.

Thanks again and take care!
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
42 months ago
Glad to hear this news, but of course not surprised by the HIV result! Hepatic enzymes can vary and most likely this won't turn out to be a serious issue (although of course you should follow up with your doctor about them). Thanks again for your thanks about our services. Take care and stay safe.

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