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test differences and the correct test for me??
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itrguy01 posted:
Hello,

My exposures have been unprotected vaginal intercourse with 3 women many years ago.. (14 years ago to be exact).. Is there one test over another that you would recommend for exposures this long ago in terms of accuracy? Also I tried searching but cannot find this anywhere, I know the rapid tests are a form of Elisa's, but do they actually look for more or different antibodys then a rapid test?? I just want to be sure I am getting the most accurate test for my situation.... thanks!, --Robert
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georgiagail responded:
No; screening tests all check for the presence of antibodies associated with HIV.


Gail
 
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itrguy01 replied to georgiagail's response:
thanks for getting back.. I read that tests like the oraquick and some of the other rapid tests look for the gp41 antibody.. Is that what the lab based elisa looks for as well? Or are there other antibodys that it looks for? Also I have read that the lab based elisa gives a numbered value for pos/neg readings.. Does that make it more sensitive then a rapid test? Sorry for all the questions , but I just want the best/most accurate test done! thanks for your time, --Rob
 
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georgiagail replied to itrguy01's response:
Something that may help ease your mind...


You mentioned that your last possible exposure took place 14 years ago.


Let's say one of these left you infected.


In an untreated individual it takes (on average) about a decade to move from HIV to the end stage of the disease (AIDS). IF infected back then you would, by now, be exhibiting some very serious...and impossible to miss....symptoms. I'm going to assume you're not having these, correct?


Screening tests are screening tests. All are accurate when done correctly and taken when enough time has passed that there will be enough antibodies in the blood to be picked up by these tests (some people, out of fear, test only days after an exposure when there will not be enough antibodies yet present).

Gail
 
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itrguy01 replied to georgiagail's response:
Thanks for the info and getting back to me.. I don't like the idea of waiting up to a week for test results to come back from a doctor, so I was thinking about the oraquick rapid or a blood rapid test at a local clinic.. Some of the info out there about testing this late is frightening because it suggests there could be antibody loss and the rapids may not be able to pick them up? Any truth to this?
 
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georgiagail replied to itrguy01's response:
The only folks who might not be producing antibodies this late in the game could be someone who has entered the end stage of the disease, going from HIV to AIDS.

However, again, someone in this stage would tend to have very significant and difficult to miss health issues.

If you don't trust the rapid tests, then request a blood test from a physician. You'll be sent to a lab (or the sample will be) and you'll need to wait the week or two to get the results back.

Gail
 
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itrguy01 replied to georgiagail's response:
ok, so if I can run around playing basketball in the 90 degree heat and swimming underwater in a pool for 40 feet this shouldn't be me correct? lol
 
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georgiagail replied to itrguy01's response:
Correct.

Frankly, if you were infected 14 years ago and untreated all this time there's a good chance you'd have died from an AIDS related infection already.

Gail
 
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itrguy01 replied to georgiagail's response:
thanks for all your help! Also, I think this is one of the main articles that gets people all worried on the net.. Can you comment on this at all on the article itself of the credibility of the person that wrote it?


http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/578652
 
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georgiagail replied to itrguy01's response:
The patient in question had a CD4 count of 4 (a normal CD4 ranges between 500 and 1000). The poor fellow had late stage AIDS when he went through his testing.

His immune system had already been so damaged by the virus that it could no longer produce antibodies to anything. Which is why, by the way, this young man was finally hospitalized with pneumocystis pneumonia, a pneumonia specifically connected with AIDS.

Again, this is a case where we're talking end stage AIDS. It's not the actual virus that causes death but rather the infections that one can no longer fight off because the immune system can no longer produce antibodies to fight off any infections. No antibodies...no antibody reaction to screening tests.

So...have you got pneumocystis pneumonia? Lost 50 pounds recently? Have diarrhea or other serious GI side effects? Skin lesions? Continued, unexplained fatigue? It doesn't sound like it if you can play basketball in 90 degree heat and swim underwater for 40 feet.


Gail
 
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itrguy01 replied to georgiagail's response:
Thanks Gail, I definitely get what you are saying.. The rapid test manufactures all say 3 months post exposure and your test is conclusive.. In your opinion why is there nothing said about testing too late?? I am sure there are people out there such as myself that haven't had any exposures in many years as well..thanks again !
 
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georgiagail replied to itrguy01's response:
There's quite a bit said about testing at any time one might have had an exposure...early or late.

Typically folks who are found to have HIV late in the game show up with symptoms specifically connected to the end stage of the disease; unexplained weight loss, true oral thrush (not just a white tongue), the specific type of pneumonia I mentioned above, etc..


Gail
 
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itrguy01 replied to georgiagail's response:
After doing a lot of research on testing it seems like most rapid antibody tests look for the gp41 antibody.. Do you know if a lab based elisa looks for more then just the one antibody the rapid tests look for?
 
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georgiagail replied to itrguy01's response:
(sigh). Go get a blood test. You've waiting 14 years to get tested. And you have trouble believing that if you were HIV positive it's likely you'd either be near death from AIDS or...dead...by now.

Gail
 
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itrguy01 replied to georgiagail's response:
sorry, didn't mean to make you sigh..lol, but I have high anxiety about waiting for results, that's why I just wanted to know about the differences in lab vs rapid testing... If the blood rapid is exactly the same as lab testing I would obviously rather do the faster one


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