Thank you very much Dr Handsfield for your time! It is a great relief to read your message. Since I have been reading on HIV for the last two weeks nonstop, every second day I came to the same conclusion as you, but then the next day I would freak out again about the unbelievable coincidence and extraordinariness of the unfolding events. There are still some uncertainties I would like to clarify with your help, and I hope that there will be no repetitions involved. Thank you very much in advance!
1. I remember that I read one risk assessment of yours or Dr Hook in medhelp, written probably years ago. There, you advise someone that the moment of testing is always dependent on the underlying risk: If I was exposed to extremely high risk, then I should not necessarily trust the results of a test after eight weeks but rather test after three months. If I was exposed to low risk, a test after six or even four weeks might be highly reliable. But in another newer post here in ASHA you tell someone that whatever the risk - if low or extremely high such as injecting HIV+ blood in my veins - a DUO test at six weeks is 100% conclusive. To me these two answers seem to be based on two different ways of dealing with risk. Could you tell me where I am mistaken or which of the two is the correct one according to the scientific state-of-the-art? Basically with a negative DUO test at exactly 45 days, there is 0% chance that someone will turn positive only after f.e. 11 weeks?
2. By now, I know that we should not discuss about ARS since most experts seem to agree that its symptoms are often non-existent/undetectable, or its manifestations are so manifold that one has no chance to find out if a rash is ARS or not. I have found photos online who represent either heavy ARS rashes - hundreds of bumps over the whole upper body or rather mild forms - 20-30 in a particular spot like the neck or the face. Based on this finding, I thought that my wife's 5 unfamiliar maculopapular bumps who appeared after the onset of the fever, severe sore throat and body ache might be a mild form of ARS rash. Equally the similar-looking 4-5 bumps in our baby's face who might become more in the next days. Could you tell me - if possible - what the typical range of ARS rash is? Is it from let's say face-only and 30 bumps to whole body with hundreds of bumps or could a very mild form even be just the aforementioned five bumps in the face? And does the rash literally erupt from one day to the other or does it slowly build up? Does it usually start before the fever and sore throat, exactly at the same time, or rather after the fever and sore throat began? Or are all the variants possible? Last, why do some online sources - including professional HIV sites - say that ARS rashes predominantly appear in the face and upper torso area? I remember you were saying somewhere that the rash is spread over the whole body.
Could it be that the antibiotics my wife took are somehow related to the bumps in her face and - through breastfeeding - also related to the bumps in our baby's face?
3. As far as I understood, if any of my early symptoms were due to ARS, then the tests I have made would be positive, correct? So if I had no ARS then, is it more likely that antigens and consecutively antibodies are produced later, maybe even right now that I started to have diarrhea? I was wondering to what extent diarrhea could be in any way related to HIV dynamics in my body - either to the emerging antigens or to the antibodies.
4. Some sources state that ARS symptoms such as fever and sore throat react to medicine - such as lowering the fever or healing the throat - others say that ARS symptoms do not react to medicine at all. What is true? And in case they react to medicine, then ARS fever, body ache and sore throat could disappear very quickly with the right medication, but would they return again after a short while, like in my wife's case, where the fever and the sore throat returned in less severe forms again and again? How do ARS symptoms react to antibiotics in general?
5. Are the duo test forms Architect Abbot CMIA and the ECLIA are of the exactly same quality and accuracy? Second, I remember that the first lab told me the ECLIA test will require five days. However, on the report it stated that it was done at the next day in the course of a few hours. The other lab told me in late morning when I gave blood , that i could collect the Architect result the same day at night. At the same time, the Rapid Hiv antibodies Tests (vein-blood-drawn) I did, could also be collected at night after giving blood in the morning. So it seems these Duo tests are as 'rapid' as the Rapid tests. But they aren't Rapid tests and more precise, right? what then is the difference between let's say a Rapid Antibodies test that uses blood drawn from a vein, and a normal Antibodies test who requires five days according to the lab. Are the results more differentiated?