HIV - Prevention Expert Forum
Negative, Inconclusive or Positive?
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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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Negative, Inconclusive or Positive?

Hello all and thanks in advance for any help.
I had a possible exposure to HIV nearly ten months ago. Four weeks later i had an inconclusive HIV test result followed by another similar result a further four weeks later. At the time the consultant told me to accept my status to be HIV negative and that inconclusive results can occur as a result of a cross reaction of some sort and can even happen if the person is feeling under the weather. I was delighted. However, a month later (three months following possible exposure) i started to develop strange symptoms that appear concurrent with HIV ARS. These included flu-like symptoms, sore throat, muscle pain, dry mouth, fatigue and what i thought were some painful lymph nodes in my groin as well as some discomfort in my neck and under arm area. Most of these symptoms seem to have gone although i still have pain in both groins and sometimes the discomfort in the neck and under arm re-appears. The dryness in my mouth is also present. The pain in the groin can be quite severe and seems to spread down my legs(front) when i sit for long periods and can make my legs feel quite weak. It also affects my buttocks at times! Having said this i have a slight fungal infection in my groin that could be causing the pain?
Thats my situation, now for the questions:
1. Should i accept the consultants explanation for the inconclusive results or is there more to it?
2. Could this groin/leg pain be caused by early HIV disease?
3. If i am HIV positive would i be suffering any symptoms this early in the process?

Any help or advice of any description would be a great help and would be much appreciated as i am going out of my mind with worry. Thanks in advance once more.
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Symptoms never are a reliable indicator for or against HIV infection--never.  For further discussion, search this forum's threads and archives, and the STD Forum, for "ARS symptoms".

Indeterminant HIV serologies are increasingly rare with modern tests, but still occur on rare occasions.  I'm not sure about the "under the weather" explanation, but in any case, if a provider knowledgeable about HIV infections assured you that you aren't infected, you can rely on it.  If your symptoms persist or you otherwise remain concerned, return to that provider for professional assessment.  But I believe the chance you have HIV is less than your risk of being struck by lightning.

Good luck--  HHH, MD
4 Comments
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Thanks for your reply. I was just wondering could you elaborate on your opinions of indeterminate test results.
Also could you give your views to questions two and three above? I am interested in the answers to these and can find little info elsewhere?? Thank you.
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Indeterminant HIV testing is a complex topic; I really cannot elaborate further.   I don't keep up with the latest research on the possible biological explanations and it is likely that the provider who tested you knows more about it than I do.

I already answered questions 2 and 3 in my opening sentence.  But to spell it out:  2) Groin/leg pain is not a symptom of HIV.  3) Some people have symptoms in the first few weeks after they catch HIV, then most have no symptoms at all for many years, until overt AIDS develops.

You don't have HIV.  This is my last response in this thread.

HHH, MD
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks very much for your time and help. I hope i did not annoy you with my persistence but i just wanted a clear answer, since my head is very foggy lately! Thanks again.
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University of Washington
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