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Worried about HIV Status
An_255958 posted:
I am from India I am really worried and anxious about my HIV status. I had three high risk exposures, all of which happened before two years (i.e. from 2010 to 2012). However I did not get tested for HIV ever after any of those exposures, due to fear (which I regret now).
Recently I had another non condom protected vaginal intercourse on 31st Dec 2013. Subsequently in the first week of March 2014, I was diagnosed with Tuberculosis. After this, I got three HIV tests (all Duo CMIA) done on 3rd March , 7th March and 10th March, all of which turned out to be negative.
However, due to the fact that I have contracted TB, which is the most common OI along with HIV, I am really worried if these results could be false negative. Also I read on the Abott Architect CMIA product insert on FDA the following clause.
"A test result that is nonreactive does not exclude the possibility of exposure to or infection with HIV-1 and/or HIV-2. Nonreactive results in this assay for individuals with prior exposure to HIV-1 and/or HIV-2 may be due to antigen and antibody levels that are below the limit of detection of this assay."
Also I have read about a second window period for such tests in which antigen and antibody levels can fall below the diagnostic threshold after an initial reactive result.
1. What are the chances that my test results could be false negative especially because I have had prior risky exposures and could have contracted the virus more than 2 years back from one of my risky exposures and also because I have been diagnosed with TB? ( I have taken BCG vaccine during childhood and GeneXpert results have shown that my TB is not Drug Resistant TB)2. Is there a possibility that because I might have got infected 2 years back, the antigen and antibody levels have become undetectable?3. Do antibody levels actually become low with time as the virus progresses ?4. Do you suggest taking one of the more sensitive HIV tests like HIV RNA ( I have been contemplating this, but then read on the internet that the chances of false positive results are quite high in these cases). Also, which test do you suggest among HIV 1 - RNA qualitative ; HIV 2- RNA qualitative and HIV 1- Proviral DNA.5. If I do a CMIA duo test after March 31 (which will be after 3 months from my last risky exposure), can I take the results of the test as conclusive. Or would that also be not conclusive ?6. What could be the other reasons for catching TB if I indeed dont have HIV? And how strong are these reasons? (I am reasonably well off and dont think that I have been exposed long to any person suffering from TB. However I have been eating less food for the last few months due to work pressure and lack of time.)
I am really anxious and stressed out and would really appreciate your help and guidance in this.
georgiagail responded:
Neither your TB nor your previous high risk exposures would produce false negative test results.

In other words, if you had become infected from these events in 2010-2012, you would still be producing antibodies. It is only when one has reached the end stage of the disease (i.e., moved from HIV onto AIDS) and the immune system has been TERRIBLY damaged by this virus that one MIGHT not produce antibodies. In an untreated individual this takes, on the average, a decade after transmission to develop. The symptoms of end stage AIDS are impossible to miss.

You "caught" TB because you came in contact with someone who had TB. This happens to even those who are very, very healthy. And TB is NOT the most common OI along with HIV. One only becomes infected with TB from someone who has this disease.

So to answer your questions...

1. None.
2. No
3. Not until the very end of this disease
4. No. There is no need for this test
5. The recommended time period for testing is 12 weeks after a potential exposure. By then 99.99 percent of newly infected folks will have enough antibodies present to be picked up by current testing methods.
6. See above.

megan2121 replied to georgiagail's response:
Hello Gail, I have a hiv question. A few nights ago at work I had cleaned some tables and touched lots of dirty plates. I then licked my finger to get something off of my fingernail and I am worried there could have been blood on finger that I licked and that I may have contracted hiv. Is that even possible to do that? I'm scared the blood got onto my tounge from licking my finger and then inside of my body. Is this possible?

georgiagail replied to megan2121's response:
There is absolutely no risk of HIV from any of this.

Even assuming there WAS liquid blood on your finger and the blood DID come from an HIV positive person, simply putting this on your tongue does not transmit this into your body.

When we say HIV must enter the body for transmission to occur, this means it must enter body tissues through a cut, wound, damaged mucous membrane, etc.

Simply swallowing blood from an HIV positive person would not transmit the virus to you. This is why giving oral sex to an HIV positive person is also not a risk. Unless someone happens to have an open, bleeding wound in their mouth while they are providing the oral sex (not likely) there is no way for the virus to enter the body.

I hope this makes sense.

megan2121 replied to georgiagail's response:
I did have my back left wisdom tooth teething or it may have a cavity so my gums and tooth were sore. Would that be considered a open wound?

georgiagail replied to megan2121's response:


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