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Tested positive for hsv2 and negative for HIV. Having headache, running and itchy rashes. Suffer weight loss and back pain

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Infectious Diseases Specialist
Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 877 Questions
Hi I am 28 black man I tested positive for hsv2 and negative for HIV a year after possible exposure to HIV I'm feeling symptoms as far as headaches, runny,itching and rashes all over my body weight loss and neck and back pains is it possible that I am infected with HIV and just not testing positive yet
Posted Tue, 29 Oct 2013 in HIV and AIDS
Answered by Dr. Roopa Hiremath 4 hours later
Brief Answer:
Most unlikely to be HIV positive

Detailed Answer:
Welcome to Health care magic.

I have gone through your query and I understand your concern.

I want to explain few details about HIV and how it causes disease so that you understand aspects of HIV testing.
HIV enters the body through mucosa covering the genitalia and then reaches the lymph nodes that are draining that area.
Once its reaches the lymph nodes, it multiplies and gets released in blood circulation.
This takes about 4-12 days after possible exposure.

So there is no test which can detect HIV immediately after exposure (within 4 days).
The person has to wait at least for four days to get a test done (usually P24 antigen testing or PCR can detect).

After the HIV is released in the blood, the body immune system tries to fight against this virus and starts producing antibodies against it.
This antibody production starts within 2-8 weeks (15 days to 2 months) of infection and they become detectable after 3 weeks to 12 weeks (21 days to 3 months).
So testing after 3 months after exposure should definitely come positive if infection has occurred.

You have not mentioned which test you have undergone for HIV testing in your query.
Anyway, the most common test done is ELISA for HIV 1 and 2 antibodies.
So, if you have tested negative after 1 year of exposure, you are most unlikely to be HIV positive.
Coming to your symptoms, I am suspecting a flu like illness which has to be further assessed as you have rashes all over your body.

Weight loss percentage has to be calculated as to how much weight you have lost in how long?
More than 10% of weight loss is considered significant.

HSV 2 is herpes simplex virus 2 which causes genital herpes and is sexually transmitted.
Safe sexual practices have to followed. Usage of condom is must when the sexual history of the partner is unknown.
I also want to mention that having other sexually transmitted diseases and practicing high risk sexual behavior increases the chance of acquiring HIV infection.

I hope I have answered your query satisfactorily.
Please get back if any clarifications.
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