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Is the HIV antibody test conclusive after 3 months of exposure?

Answered by
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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3129 Questions

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Posted on Tue, 30 Aug 2016 in HIV and AIDS
Question: I have undergone anti-body test for HIV after 3 months of exposure and after 4 months of exposure have undergone HIV-RNA test. Both of them are negative. Am i free of HIV and good to move on? Never had any unsafe sex with any body but just a nuru massage. It was a nake body massage.

I am feeling that i have hiv because some of the symptoms are surfacing.
1. Having burning pain near hips.

2. My nails are vertically breaking.
3. Have a small lypmh node near left ear. Its very small pea sized. Not growing though. some times props up and some times not. Not sure if this is because i was pressing again and again.

Please help me understand my symptoms. Are there because of the stress i am having for last 6 months thinking daily about HIV?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
You do not have HIV.

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome,

I am sorry you have been carrying this worry with you for so long! You do not have HIV, but let's go thru why I know that you do not have HIV:

1. At 12 weeks, 99% of people who have HIV will have a positive HIV test, regardless of the test used. And what about the fraction of 1% of people who haven't developed antibodies by that time? That group of people are those with impaired immune systems due to chemotherapy, radiation, transplanted organs, or other immunosuppressive situations. So, if we don't count that group in, the test is very accurate by 12 weeks.

Therefore, if you tested negative at 12 weeks, you do not have HIV.

2. I read over the previous description of your massage, and this too is not a high risk situation.

3. HIV is not contracted from objects or other casual contact. The virus is rendered harmless after being outside of the body, such as on surfaces, in seconds. The exception is when it is inside a needle used by someone with a high titer of HIV.

So, you do not have HIV.

Now about your symptoms - these are not representative of HIV.

Nail brittleness and vertical splitting can be due to the nails being dry from frequent hand washing or emersion in water. Some dermatologists recommend high dosages of oral Biotin (a vitamin) and daily application of lac hydrin at the base of the nail (skin).

About the pea sized lump by your left ear. It's possible that this is not a lymph node but may be a small cyst (benign) such as from a thick oily material (sebaceous cyst). As it is a very small size, it does not sound concerning, but you can have your doctor check it.

About the burning pain near your hips, I need more information to be able to help know what is going on here.
How long has it been going on?
Do certain positions (movement of legs perhaps) make it worse?
Can you describe the exact location of the pain?




Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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