HIV - Prevention Expert Forum
Blood Transfusion/HIV Test Results
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This forum is limited to prevention of HIV and to safe sex in general. All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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Blood Transfusion/HIV Test Results

Dr. Hook I tried to follow up to your answer to my question yesterday but it would not go through so I am paying for another question today.  I really want to get this issue behind me.  My quesiton is - Shortly after my exposure I had two stints put in and a blood transfusion of 1-2 units.  The test that I took was approx 3 ½ months after the blood transfusion.  Does the stints or blood transfusion (or methylprednisolone) cause any delay in allowing the HIV antibodies to show up in the test?  My grandson had a rash they took him to the dr for - it lasted for about 6 days and moved to different areas of his body and was also not visible for a day, then showed up again the next day.   The dr told them he thought it was the Fifth desease.  I am diabetic and worry the he may have gotten into my disposed needles and stuck himself, although he never told me that he did, nor did his parents say that he told them he stuck himself.  I am very worried but also feel paranoid.  Thank you for your help.
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I don't know why a follow-up comment on the other thread "didn't go through".  The HIV tests are among the most reliable diagnostic tests that exist, for any medical condition.  The only medications that theoretically may interfere with HIV testing are potent immunosuppressive drugs taken in high dose for prolonged periods, or cancer chemotherapy.  Even these are theoretical, with few if any reported cases that it actually happened.  As Dr. Hook told you yesterday, the dose and brief duration of methylprednisolone used in shingles would not have any effect at all.  Beyond that, there are no other medications (including vitamins) that have any effect, and neither does blood transfusion or having coronary artery stents.

Between your apparent coronary artery disease and you diabetes, you have some rather serious health problems that need attention.  In that context, being worried about HIV is somewhat irrational.  There is no way you have HIV, and no way your grandson does either; you can stop worrying about it.  Ignore any other "yes but" or "what if" questions that come to mind.  There is absolutely no information you can provide that would change my or Dr. Hook's opinion or advice, so there is no point in asking.

Also note that MedHelp permits a maximum of 2 questions every 6 months on the professionally moderated forums.

Best regards--  HHH, MD
3 Comments
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Thank you for your comment.  My main concern was my grandson.  The rash that I described where it comes and goes and shows up in different parts of the body, it there any similarity to an HIV rash?  Thank You
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As I said above:  "Ignore any other 'yes but' or 'what if' questions that come to mind.  There is absolutely no information you can provide that would change my or Dr. Hook's opinion or advice, so there is no point in asking."  I haven't change my mind.

Trust me on this:  it is IMPOSSIBLE that your grandson has HIV, assuming he hasn't been sexually abused by an HIV positive person.  And I'm sure his pediatrician is entirely familiar with the rashes caused by typical childhood viruses like fifth disease.

Please do your best to suck it up and move on without concern.
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