[Question #4844] HIV rare story (Worried)

25 months ago
Dear doctors, 
I hope your doing well. I’m back after a loong while I guess. 
I was exposed to HIV in January 2017, almost two years ago. That time I wrote to you when I was really worried. In the first few weeks following the exposure I experienced many symptoms of HIV but after 15 repeated negative tests during 6 months and the improve in my health.  I almost could manage to get back to my normal life and leave hiv behind. In summer 2017 while on an vacation, me as someone careless about dental health whos gums often bleed was eating an apple and left the apple on the table (few red dots of blood were visible in the apple) but around 10-15 minutes later I saw my friend eating the apple I was eating. I ignored the scenario of transmitting something to him because I didn’t believe I have anything and I knew food can not transmit the disease. However, 6 weeks after the incident my friend who was very rarely becoming sick became really ill. Very high fever sore throats and all that I got worried a bit but still said its impossible and could be a normal flu. And eventhough I’m doing well now except of having sinusitis problems once or twice a year or an eye infection once plus hot flushes from time to time and I tested negative again 20 months post exposure in a routine test.  But my friend as he is in 50’s, he is doing really bad, he gets infections very very often, stomach problems, oral thrushes, fevers, frequent flus. And he is married and a believer and loves his wife and family, so inactive sexually. 
In London, I have consulted many doctors and I come back to your help again! I’m afraid to tell him my story and I really care about him because he means alot to me.
Do you think I have something that the tests can not detect ? Any new strange strains ? Something rare maybe ? 
All tests performed were 4th generation tests.

Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
25 months ago
Welcome back to our Forum.  I have reviewed your interactions with Dr. Handsfield and agree with all he has said and can assure you that none of the assurances he provided to you then are any different now.  What is different is that a friend has gotten ill.  Apparently you do not know what his illness is but I can assure you that unless you have had additional exposures in the 20 months since you last were on the Forum, his illness is not your fault or something that he caught from you. You have conclusively proven that you did not acquire HIV from your exposure nearly two years ago and there are no scientific data to suggest that anything has changed- there are no new, hard to detect strains of HIV and there are no credible, proven cases in which HIV has been spread as the result of shared food.  My sense is that you are a good, caring person and it is good of you to worry about your friend but you can be absolutely confident that you did not transmit HIV acquired from your casual liaison nearly 2 years ago to him through a shared apple.  His illness is a coincidence. There is no reason for you to seek additional testing or to worry that you have contributed to his current illness.  EWH---
25 months ago
Thank you very much for your answer Dr Edward.
I appreciate the great job you do here! I will ask another question as you have a long experience in this field.
I read on the body.com one of the doctors I don’t want to mention his name said that he will keep testing a patient for 1-2 years if he had ‘ cut-HIV’ symptoms even if he repeatedly tested negative.

Would you agree anyhow with him ? If someone tested negative beyond the window period but you suspected his symptoms were very hiv related symptoms, would you consider testing him again and again ?

Thanks
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
25 months ago
The practice you describe is not something I would do. It is overly conservative and would needlessly prolong any anxiety and worry that the person being testing might have.  If I were using current, combination HIV antigen/antibody tests I would not test for more than 6 weeks after an exposure.  EWH---