HIV - Prevention Expert Forum
immune system
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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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immune system

good afternoon doctor(s), i had unprotected sex with a csw in the philippines. i am a male and the csw was a female. i had negative elisa blood test at 3 months. my question is...

1.is this conlusive or should i still get 6 month test
2. the reason why i asked about the 6 month test is because i fear i may have a weak or compromised immune system. would the window test go over 3 month if i were immune compromised?
239123_tn?1267651214
Welcome to the forum. Thanks for your question.

The HIV ELISA tests are among the most accurate diagnostic tests that exist, for any medical conditions; and they are 100% reliable 3 months after the last possible exposure.  (Even 6 weeks usually is sufficient; see the thread linked below for more information.)

Therefore, negative HIV test results results always overrule exposure history or symptoms.  There is no such thing as delayed positive test results because of immune compromise.  The only possible exception is profound immune compromise of the sort associated with terminal cancer and other immediately life threatening conditions, or treatment with potent chemotherapy or high doses of other powerful immune suppressing drugs.  Even these conditions are mostly theoretical, with few if any actual cases in which there was real interference with HIV testing.

That other thread is at http://www.medhelp.org/posts/show/1704700

So no worries -- you can be 100% certain you didn't catch HIV.  There is no need for additional testing at 6 months or any other time.  If you have a regular partner, you can safely continue unprotected sex without worry.  But next time you have a commercial or otherwise non-monogamous sexual encounter, please use a condom!

Regards--  HHH, MD
7 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
thank you for the reassurance doctor. one last question. this might sound silly but is there any known chronic bacterial infection that might weaken the immune system?
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239123_tn?1267651214
No, none that come to mind.  The reverse is true -- i.e. there are chronic immune disorders that can increase the risk of certain chronic bacterial infections, but these are not the kind that would make HIV testing unreliable.
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Avatar_m_tn
Ok doctor the reason i asked is because i have a chronic abscess thats been with me for about 8 years that would heal and appear again. And it got me thinking that this chronic condition might affect my immune system and therefore delay my hiv test accuracy. I guess i am mistaken, right doctor?
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239123_tn?1267651214
No, such an abscess would not affect the accuracy of your HIV test.  Don't worry about it at all.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you doctor for the wonderful job you are doing. Pls continue in your great service you are doing for the people. Have a good day.
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239123_tn?1267651214
Thanks for the thanks. Take care and stay safe.
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
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University of Alabama at Birmingham
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