[Question #6605] Hypothetical question (HIV)

13 months ago
If someone was infected I know they normally have an antibody response 1-3 months after. Lets say at month 3 they started a high dose immunosuppressant, could it cause their test to come back non-reactive/are there any immunosuppressants so strong they can "destroy/delete" currant antibodies? 

Im talking a generation 3 test. 

Thanks! 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
13 months ago
I'm sorry you're back and to see you're still obsessed with HIV despite the reasoned, science-based reassurance you had in your two recent discussions with Dr. Hook.

It is an urban myth that immunosuppression interferes with HIV testing. That was a theoretical concern for the earliest HIV antibody tests of the kind that are no longer in use. Even then, there were very few reported cases that it happened, and these involved very potent immunosuppression, e.g. cancer chemotherapy. This sort of problem is not known to happen with the most modern HIV antibody tests (third generation). But if you would like still more reassurance, why not also have an AgAb (4th generation) blood test? If you do it, the result will be negative for sure.

For those reasons, in the circumstance you describe, immunosuppression could not make HIV testing negative. Your test resutls are conclusive. Do your best to let it go.

There will be no discussion. Please note the forum does not permit repeated anxiety-driven questions on the same topic or exposure. This will have to be your last one; future new questions about HIV testing and your HIV fears 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.

I do hope the discussions have been helpful and that you'll now be able to move on without worry. If you cannot, I would suggest professional counseling to address possible underlying mental health issues that may be at play. It definitely isn't normal to remain so fearful after the sort of advice you have had on this forum, and perhaps from your own doctors as well. I suggest counseling from compassion, not criticism. Good luck.

HHH, MD

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