[Question #3314] Should I get tested for HIV again or I got it already

38 months ago
Hi, Doctor, I am a student from Asia, 25yrs. I am tested negative for HIV 1/2 ag/ab combo at 21,67 and 98 days from my last protected intercourse with CSW 5 months back. I am having prickling itch for 3 months all over my body.I am suffering from anxiety since 5 months.  I am worried that I developed to AIDS because of my 3-6years back protected intercourses with csws. I feel numbness in my left foot and hand.I sit for long googling about this may be 3-6hrs a day. I am worried that I am immunocompromised please help me thank you.
I am having diabetes and psoriasis
My Questions are 
  1. Shall I get retested?
  2. Am I immunocompromised that is why I am unable to generate antibodies? if yes how to find that I am immunocompromised?
  3. Am I fully blown with AIDS?
  4. What is causing my prickly itch?
Please help me, Doctor, this would be a great help doctor. Please help me, I cannot afford for pcp anymore. My pcp is telling me to get retested at 6 months. Please let me know what I am supposed to do. I am bowing my head to your feet and seeking your help
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
38 months ago
Welcome to the forum. Thanks for your confidence in our services.

First, it sounds like you have had primarily safe sex ("protected intercourse"), so your risk of HIV was low even with multiple sex worker experiences. Second, HIV or immune deficiency are not likely causes of symptoms like yours. Third and most important, the HIV Ag/Ab combo tests ALWAYS are positive within 6 weeks of catching HIV. Your negative tests at those times prove you do not have HIV. Your PCP is being extra careful

Those comments pretty well answer most of your questions, but to be explicit:

1. You should not have any more HIV tests.

2. Being immunocompromised does not have any effect on the Ag/Ab HIV tests. In theory, immune deficiency could delay antibody development. But if that happened, the antigen part of the test would be more likely to be positive. Hence no effect on the Ag/Ab combo test.

3. You do not have HIV or AIDS.

4. I cannot explain your itching or other symptoms, except for sure they are not due to HIV. Diabetes is the most common cause of neuropathy; you should ask your doctor if that explains any of your symptoms, especially the numbness of your foot and hand.

My final advice is that you stop searching the internet about HIV risks, symptoms, or testing. Like many anxious persons, you probably are being drawn to information that increases your fears and missing all the reassuring bits.

I hope this information is helpful. Let me know if anything isn't clear.

HHH, MD
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38 months ago
Thank You, Doctor HH,
I got an appointment with my PCP today. I discussed your recommendations for her opinion today she said she is completely satisfied and realized that she haven't recognized the tests, that she ordered for me. I am so Thankful for your help. I could clarify a lot of doubts in my mind. I don't have any neuropathy she made a foot test. She is suspecting main reason for my itch is "Anxiety". 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
38 months ago
I'm glad you have seen your doctor. It sounds like you have an excellent PCP, and that she and I are in complete agreement with one another.

Thanks for the thanks. I'm glad to have helped. That's why we're here!
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