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ELISA negative test at 9 weeks
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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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ELISA negative test at 9 weeks

Hello Dr,

On September 7th of 2007 I had an unprotected vaginal encounter with a 40 year old white female whom I had know for a couple of years but I am not sure of her HIV status although she told me she was negative. Ever since that encounter I have been haunted by the thought of having HIV and so forth, I was so anxious to the point where I had, in my mind, surrendered to the facts tht I am HIV positive and will be dying in a few years and just decided not to get tested.

A family member is a DR and had to literally force me on his chair in his office to withdraw blood for an HIV test at 9 weeks post exposure.  The test result came back negative and it was his opinion that no further testing was needed at 3 motnhs or 6 months.

However, last week while on vacation, I developed cold like symptoms (itchy throat, runny nose, scratchy throat but NO fever), I also had a lump under my right jawbone which was rather painful.  The symptoms lasted 4 days.

Now, I am FREAKING out all over again, I spoke with the DR and he told me that he still does'nt think futrther testing is necessary and that he is concerned I may developing an HIV phobia caused by non stop googling of this matter.


1.  Do you recommend further testing ?

Thanks in advance for our answer.
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Believe your doctor and believe the test.  You had a single encounter with a person who said they did not have HIV (most people DO tell the truth).  For me, this would be reassuring enough to suggest that you probably did not need testing.  You then had a test 9 weeks after the exposure at a time when over 98% of persons who were going to develop a positive blood test would have done so.  Taken together, your risk for having gotten HIV from this encounter is about as close to zero as it can be.  

We have many posts to this site by persons who are worried that the symptoms they are experiencing represent HIV.  The fact of the matter is that symptoms are terribly unreliable and that most (nearly all) people who have symptoms such as the ones you have experienced have them because of "usual" sorts of community acquired viral infections which most people refer to as "colds", "the flu", or "a bug".

You do not have HIV.  Do not worry further about it.  Do not feed your anxiety further by wandering the internet looking for something that will tell you that you could have HIV--in your situation that is just not the case.   If this reassurance does not suffice, please consider getting professional counseling help (I say this to help.)

Good luck.  EWH
Thanks Doc, my DR. is truly fed up with me calling him everyday with "what if" questions and has honestly begun referring some of his patients to phsycological counseling due to, what he refers to as, AIDS phobia and is wanting to refer me too.

I really do appreciate your honest response and your forums, I will do my best to get over this insident and put it behind me, I have lost over 25 lb since this insident and surfing the net hours upon hours a day is not helping espescially that for som reason I am seeking a "you are most likely positive to HIV" answer rather than you are "most likely negative to HIV" answer.

I do pray your answer will finally have gotten through to me (I think it did).

Would the Home Access testing method be just as accurate @ 9 weeks like the Orasure?  I see that testing @ 6 weeks is somewhere near 90%+.   Would the same be true for the H.A. kits?
I did not want to thread jump....just curious is all. See a lot about this testing method on here.  

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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
Seattle, WA
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