HIV - Prevention Expert Forum
Testing and Thrush
About This Forum:

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.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Blank Blank

Testing and Thrush

Hello,
I have a couple of questions for you.  I have been tested at 3 months, 7 months with Elisa at a doctor's office and I have a rapid test, finger prick at about 13 months all have been negative. I have been told that I am negative based on my test results and I believe it 85% of the time the only problem is that I have this white tonuge issue that started soon after my possible exposure, so I have had it for over a year.  Every morning I see it and wonder what is going on.  I went to an ENT specialist and at first I was told my one physician that it was thrush and then by another one in the same practice that it was a natural variant.  I am concerned becasue I understand that thrush is a symptom of HIV, but I also have been told that thrush comes on in later stages rather than soon after a possible exposure. In the morning I will brush it and it is removed for the day except for along the sides of my tongue but then in the morning my tounge is white again. My questions are:
When does thrush appear?
Could there be anything that prevents me from developing antibodies this far long? If the white tongue is associated with HIN would I have also developed antibodies?
I have not had a possible exposure in well over a year since I started testing, so can I relax and move on? Is six months the latest that I would need to be tested and is 6 month Elisa pretty conclusive. As I said I tested at just over a year with a finger prick and it was negative.  Are rapid finger prick tests reliable?  Please help me put this to rest and guide me if I need additional medical care. Are there any strains that are not detected during the same window period?
Thank you for your time and support.
Related Discussions
239123_tn?1267651214
Welcome to the forum.

Although the replies you had on the community forum were brief, they were accurate.  Test results always outweigh symptoms and exposure history in judging whether or not someone has HIV.  Your test results prove you don't have HIV.

As you have learned by having two doctors disagree, it isn't always easy to diagnose oral thrush.  White coated tongue is not the same thing.  But even if you have real thrush (a yeast infection), it doesn't necessarily mean HIV or any other immune deficiency. It is true that thrush is more common in people with HIV, but so are most other human infections.  I  once had an oral yeast infection myself.  In any case, having a white tongue (or even real thrush) is never the only symptom of an HIV infection.

The standard HIV antibody tests in regular use in all countries never take as long as 6 months to become positive. Rarely it may take 3 months, but almost all infected persons have positive results within 6 weeks.  The rapid fingerstick tests are equally accurate as lab-based tests.  There is nobody who doesn't make antibody when infected with HIV, and there are no HIV strains not detected with the standard tests.  Those are urban myths.

So you can definitely believe the test results:  you don't have HIV.  If you remain concerned about your tongue, continue to work with your doctor about it.  But most likely is isn't anything serious.

Regards--  HHH, MD
7 Comments
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Dr. HHH,
Thank you for your response. Can you tell me the difference between a white coating tongue and oral thrush. Is there something I should suggest to my doc. The final question is, if I have an HIV symptom, I would also have antibody. Thank you for your support and information.
Blank
239123_tn?1267651214
Sorry, I'm definitely not an expert on diagnosing oral infections or white tongue.  But thrush rarely lasts as long as your problem apparently has, so I doubt that's the explanation of your symptoms.

Yes, if you had symptoms due to HIV, you would for sure have a positive blood test.  
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Thank you again for your response. In regards to the white tongue issue should I see another specialist other than an ENT?
Blank
239123_tn?1267651214
I recommend you first see your GP, or ask him or her to recommend an appropriate specialist.  Or see your dentist and follow his or her advice.  
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Lastly one final question I promise. How often do false negative tests occur?
Blank
239123_tn?1267651214
Never.  Re-read my original reply.

This thread is over.
Blank
Continue discussion Blank
This Forum's Experts
239123_tn?1267651214
H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
Seattle, WA
300980_tn?1194933000
Edward W Hook, MDBlank
University of Alabama at Birmingham
,
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
The 3 Essentials to Ending Emotiona...
Sep 18 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Control Emotional Eating with this ...
Sep 04 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating Control: How to St...
Aug 28 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank