[Question #3085] Testing Results

40 months ago
Hi Doctors.. 

I asked a question about a month ago regarding unprotected vaginal sex with a man of unknown status.  

I have been dealing with swollen glands, sore throat, and muscle pain that is still present today so about 3 weeks now..  

In the meantime I have had the following tests done: 

2 week HIV blood test 

32 day Alere combo Rapid test 

43 day Alere combo Rapid test

All negative 

My questions are: 

1.). Are these tests conclusive enough for ruling out HIV for my potential symptoms?  Are the Alere tests accurate enough to call it conclusive at 6 weeks?  

2.). Can I move on with my life and find a new cause of my ongoing symptoms? 

I just want your expert opinion so I can move on with my life. 

Thank you in advance. 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
40 months ago
I'm sorry to see you're back, and that these additional questions have ignored all you were told in your two previous threads. Here are some statements made by me or Dr. Hook in those threads:

"You odds of having acquired HIV are very low on a statistical basis, somewhere less than 1 in a million"
"Your test results show that your symptoms were not due to HIV.  you can be quite confident of this."
"Your negative test shows your symptoms are not ARS. Don't overthink it."
"Obviously he [your sex partner] doesn't have HIV."
"Its [your 4 week Ag-Ab test result] really 100% accurate; the official sensitivity (as approved by US Food and Drug Administration) may be 99.4%, but the test actually is better than that." 
"Ignore any more 'what if' or 'yes but' questions that may come to mind, and no more online searching about all this! There is no additional information you can provide, or concerns that will come to mind, that would change our opinions or advice."

The HIV blood tests are among the most accurate diagnostic tests ever developed, for any medical condition. The results ALWAYS overrule all other considerations:  no matter how high the risk of HIV at the time of exposure, and no matter how typical the symptoms, the test results rule. Your results PROVE you do not have HIV and that something else explains your symptoms.

So the answers to today's questions are 1) yes and 2) yes. You indeed can move on with your life -- and could and should have done so several weeks ago.

I hope this finally settles things for you! Best wishes and stay safe.

HHH, MD
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40 months ago
Thank you!!  I will move on with my life.  

All the best to both of you and Happy Holidays! 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
40 months ago
You're welcome. Thanks for the kind wishes -- Happy Holidays to you as well!

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40 months ago
Hi Dr H.  

Can I just ask one more thing regarding my testing?  My tests were a finger prick 20 minute test not a lab test.  Are these still as accurate as if it was sent to a lab?  I think this is what makes me unsure of the results.  

Thank you 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
40 months ago
Yes, the rapid ("point of care") fingerstick tests are equally reliable as lab based blood tests. Your 43 day Determine test was 100% conclusive.

Please note the forum does not permit repeated questions on the same topic or exposure. This will have to be your last one; future new questions about this exposure, testing, and your fears about HIV will be deleted without reply and without refund of the posting fee. This policy is based on compassion, not criticism, and is designed to reduce temptations to keep paying for questions with obvious answers. In addition, experience shows that continued answers tend to prolong users' anxieties rather than reducing them. Finally, such questions have little educational value for other users, one of the forum's main purposes. I trust you will understand.  

Best wishes and stay safe.

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