[Question #4202] Please help this girlfriend out

32 months ago


Dr Hook,

I am coming to you as a girlfriend of someone who wrote to you the other day.  He was the poster of questions # 4152 and 4159 ( the overdeveloped Oraquick swabs ).   I didn’t even know he was going to write on this forum until he told me the other night.  I am a nurse and I have been telling him for the last 3 years everything that you have told him. I have brought him to doctors, ran tests, etc ...We all know he is HIV negative and them oraquicks were just overdeveloped and that is meaningless.. We recently started medication and therapy for his OCD.  I do want to thank you for answering his questions... He definitely believes and knows he is HIV negative now.  However he is stuck on one of your replies that you said about in this response from you ...
“ The CDC says if the 4th generation is negative after a positive result from any rapid test , then no further testing is needed and the rapid test would be false positive." I said this was LIKELY to be correct.  and that is the answer.  In your case, I am confident that his is the case but when you ask a general question, you will get a general answer. “.
He has been worried sick for the last 5 days about not knowing what you meant.  I read your last response to him “ You are being silly and need to stop playing word games.  You do not have HIV. this reply is based on your test results.   There is no need for additional testing.  No need for concern. End of statement. “.
I told him you answered the question right there when you said “ This reply is based on your test results”.  Can you please tell me I am right that you were answering him with “ this reply is based on your test results “ when he asked what you meant by “ In your case, I am confident this is the case” in the reply of “  “ The CDC says if the 4th generation is negative after a positive result from any rapid test , then no further testing is needed and the rapid test would be false positive." I said this was LIKELY to be correct.  and that is the answer.  In your case, I am confident that his is the case but when you ask a general question, you will get a general answer. “ 
Meaning you were saying you were confident he doesn't need any more tests!! Is that what you meant doctor ?
Please help me help him.  He will believe this if he sees that you wrote back ...I’m sorry he was a handful.  Thank you so much for what you do. 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
32 months ago
Dr. Hook is traveling and will not be active on the forum for the next 10 days or so. But I reviewed the previous discussions. If I were writing the statement that concerns you, I would have qualified to to say something like "exceedingly" or "extremely" likely. In fact, there is no realistic chance he has HIV. The oraquick result is to be entirely ignored, period. CDC is correct: the antigen-antibody (4th generation) HIV tests are the conclusive final test method and if enough time has passed, the result overrules any and all previous results, including a possibly false positive ("overdeveloped") oral fluids test. Indeed Dr. Hook said he is entirely confident your partner does not need any more tests. And I agree.

It's time for him to let this go. If he cannot, and if your wise counsel isn't sufficient to let him do so, then professional counseling is the logical next step. It is definitely not normal to be so resistant to the reasoned, science based reassurance he has had; or to so compulsively parse out words and look for meanings not intended.

There really shouldn't be a need for any further discussion. Please be careful not to re-ask anything else that has already been addressed in the other threads!

Best wishes--   HHH, MD
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32 months ago
Well thank you doctor for your response.  Yes I fully agree it is beyond time for him to let this go.  He just gets stuck on words , and like you said, looks for meanings that are not intended.  I knew Dr Hook was just saying that in his case, he is confident he doesn't need anymore testing.  He just was spinning words.  Hopefully it will click for him soon because it was obvious he was just saying he doesn't need more testing and he was only saying "Likely correct " to the hypothetical situation that my boyfriend came up with.  

So basically this evening when he gets in I'm going to have a sit down with him.  I am going to explain to him there is no point in trying to look for meanings that are not intended in replys from Dr Hook, especially when he told him time and time again after the reply that he is HIV negative and needs no further tests.  I am going to let him know Dr Handsfield agrees with Dr Hook and let him know that you both agree that he has no chance of having HIV, he does not need anymore HIV tests, and if he cannot accept the reassurance that myself, doctors , and yourself and Dr Hook have given him, then I will make sure he seeks more professional therapy... 

Do you agree with me that if after I tell him about this conversation between yourself and I, and explain to him that you and Dr Hook both agree he is HIV negative and doesn't need anymore testing, he doesn't need to get stuck on words and try to spin them into meanings that are not intended,  and he needs to let them overdeveloped oraquicks go out of his mind because they were negative and are meaningless if they overdeveloped after the read time, that further professional therapy is the best option to help overcome his phobia ? 

Thanks again for what you do for people with anxiety like him that have questions.  Very nice to speak to you.  


H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
32 months ago
"you and Dr Hook both agree he is HIV negative and doesn't need anymore testing, he doesn't need to get stuck on words and try to spin them into meanings that are not intended...."  Yes. That is exactly what both Dr. Hook and I have said, in different words but identical. I also mentioned professional counseling as a potentially helpful option.

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32 months ago
OK. I just sat him down and he understands that his oraquick oral swab home HIV tests were Negative and the overdevelopment after read time is meaningless.. He also understands that he does NOT need any more tests . He said he will listen to you and Dr Hook'S advice and believe that he is truly HIV negative...He also said he understands that  Dr Hook was just saying " In his case ( My boyfriends) , that he ( Dr.Hook ) was saying that he doesn't need anymore HIV tests....

 We are going to take your advice on professional mental counseling to assist with getting over this.   Thanks so much Dr Hhh from him and myself for helping us through this .   Take care kind sir  you truly have been a blessing...
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
32 months ago
I'm glad the discussion has been helpful. This will have to be the last question from either of you about your partner's HIV fears and testing. I'm sure you understand.---