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1332431 tn?1275403030

Means for worry?

I am unsettled by a few things after testing via blood drawn tests. All my tests were negative at times where you should be happy. ALL of which were before 3months except one was exactly to the day 12 weeks, i continued to have skin issues (reoccurring leg and arm folliculitis) and tested again because of the internet saying it could be attributed to HIV. Well i am over a year later now and it was negative again. My main issue i believe stems from 3 things.

1. I have supposed questionable  folliculitis which i believe i always had but never remember getting it on my arms. If one had this and it was attributed to HIV/AIDS wouldn't folliculitis be the least of my worries as i would be ill with a multitude of symptoms? (and when would this happen if it did)

2. I am worried that the important negatives  (3 months, over year) that A.) it took longer than 3 months so therefore it was worthless (6month window) and (or) B.) that the 1 year test didn't pick anything up because of a lab error of some sort. I know lab error sounds crazy, i know it was done at a good lab (LABCORP) and they label the tube immediately and also know that the results are linked electronically to the tube, also that the ICMA automated,is there anything left to worry about lab error or would you say after not being mixed up with other peoples results be in the clear?

3. I hear horror stories of people taking longer than 6 months out to 2 years and never testing positive, i read websites from drs they say 99% at 6 months but in rare instances may take longer (how isnt that going to fuel anxiety)...Is there people that creep out of the one year mark still carrying a virus that tests told them they do not have or is this a case of people getting reinfected or something all together different?

it just seems silly to me to worry so much about such trivial things in the real world, but to me i feel that HIV/AIDS can affect someone else some dramatically that i would rather be absolutely sure.
7 Responses
239123 tn?1267651214
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Welcome to the HIV forum.

One of the most common themes in the 6+ years this forum has been underway is that as long as HIV testing is done sufficiently long after the last possible exposure -- usually 6+ weeks, sometimes as long a 3 months -- that the test results always outweigh symptoms in judging whether or not someone has a new HIV infection. Always, no exceptions ever.  Therefore, based on your opening comments, HIV is not a possible cause of the symptoms you report. It doesn't matter what the symptoms are.

Now I have read the rest.  Guess what?

1) Folliculitis is one of the most common of all human afflictions and occurs in everybody from time to time.  It almost never suggests HIV.

2) As you seem to know, the chance of a lab error is extremely low.  For purposes of argument, let's say 1 chance in 10,000.  (It's probably lower than that, maybe as rare as 1 in a million.)  You don't say how many tests you had, but let's say it was 3.  The chance that all 3 would give false negative results by lab error would be 0.0001 x 0.0001 x 0.0001 = 0.000000000001.  That's one in a trillion, if I counted my zeros correctly.  Perhaps with a little reflection you will realize this is a somewhat ridiculous concern.  (For comparison, if you live in the US, there is 1 chance in 1,756 that you will be dead of an accident within the next 12 months.  That's almost 500 million times more likely than the chance your test results were all false.)

3) It is an urban myth that it takes a year or more to develop positive HIV tests.  There are exceedingly rare cases in which infected people never deloped positive HIV antibody tests.  To my knowledge, there have been no scientifically validated reports like that for many years, since use of current, standard test methods.  Beware what you read online, especially on user-run, non-professional websites.  

In summary, you have all the evidence you need to "be absolutely sure" you don't have HIV. Stop testing and move on with your life. And don't forget your seat belt.

Regards--  HHH, MD
1332431 tn?1275403030
as to answer number2 what could happen in a lab error to cause this mix up if not mix up vilest? i know your lab runs vilest sowhat could happen then?
when would one get folliculitis ofit would happen...like late stages etc.?

lastly,in regards to number 3, what people would never make antibodies? if you couldn't make antibodies wouldn'tyounot be able to make antibodies for anything and be awfully sick?

mostly to be honest withyou im more our less worried about lab errors than anything else at this point.I dont understand the testing procedure so its tough to except without knowing.
1332431 tn?1275403030
I missed something else to finish my thoughts. like I said I know my test was linked and my results were my own that much im confident in..I must dont know what can go wrong especially in a test that is said to be computer ruin and less handling meaning mote automated from what I understand.. no further questions, thanks dr.
239123 tn?1267651214
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Given how rare lab errors are, it is useless to speculate how and why they might happen.  Disregard folliculitis with respect to HIV.  And I don't know and will not speculate about the reasons for the very rare infected people who didn't develop measurable antibody.  Most such cases are urban myths.

I have already told you why worrying about lab error is a pointless waste of emotional energy.  If you cannot shake it despite this reassurance and all common sense, professional counseling might be wise.  I suggest it out of compassion, not criticsm.  It is not normal to be so obsessed with a virtual impossibility.
1332431 tn?1275403030
thanks for your time
1332431 tn?1275403030
hello dr. I'm trying to understand your comments toward the folliculitis. you say it almost never suggests HIV, is there an instance where it would suggest it...i guess I'm wanting to know if someone did get hiv how far down the road would it take to experience this...are we talking years etc.

thanks dr and sorry for the follow up, I'm seeing help mentally and its coming along i just wish i knew why i have on and off folliculitis mild on arms and inner thigh...don't know if being hairy and hot climate attribute to this. no further questions i promise, and if i needed to start a new thread i will.
239123 tn?1267651214
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
No, there is no circumstance in which folliculitis, by itself, would suggest that someone has HIV.  I cannot imagine that ever happening.  You're one of probably 10 million people in the US, probably more, who have unexplained folliclulitis who don't have HIV.  It's a big club.

That's the end of this thread.  You may not keep returning with every additional anxiety-driven question that comes to mind.  Please read my primary reply.  It is impossible that you have HIV.  Why are you trying so hard to make me (and yourself) believe you have it?  That's perhaps the main question for you to address with your counselor.
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