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Avatar universal

Test for HIV 2 needed?

Dear Doctors,

I am a white male, in my late 30th, living in West Europe.

In December last year I had a sexual contact with a white male in Holland, whom I met over internet.

6 weeks and 4 days after that, I tested for HIV in a hospital in France, which provides anonymous and free of charge testing.

The test was negative. I assume it was a duo test, because it says Biomerieux Vidas, ac - negative and ag – negative. I guess “ac” stands for anticorps (antibody) and “ag” stands for antigène.

The nurse told me that the test is conclusive if taken 6 weeks or later after the sexual contact. This is according to French health regulations.  

I understand that test ruled out HIV-1. But what about HIV-2? Do I need another test to exclude HIV 2?

Thank you.
8 Responses
300980 tn?1194933000
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Welcome to our Forum.  You are correct, the test you had was a "duo" test which tested for both HIV antibodies and HIV p24 antigen and the result you got was conclusive.  Unless your partner was from West Africa, an even then, the chance that he had HIV-2 is quite small. Further, according to the manufacturer's data, the test has been evaluated for reactivity against HIV-1 and HIV-2 believe your results.

In the future, I urge you to strongly consider asking partners about their HIV status and to use condoms.  I am delighted that you did not get infected but, in general, unprotected sex with partners met over the internet is risky, both for HIV an for other STDs.  

Take care. EWH
Avatar universal
Dear Doctor,

Thank you so much for your reply. Do I understand you correctly that I do not need further test?

The man was a Dutchman, white. I do not believe he came from Africa. Of course I cannot exclude he has never been there as a tourist, but I guess there are more chanses that he has not been there.

In fact I asked him about his hiv status before we had sex. He replied to me that he was not infected. He also told me that he was married and had kids.

Another thing.

While browsing the forums on medhelp, I found that some people, for example Teak are insisting (already for many years) on the 3 month period for a conclusive test.  For example, a very recent post here: http://www.medhelp.org/posts/HIV-Prevention/general-questions/show/1769622#post_8132326. And this is despite the fact that you and other doctors on this forum agree on 4 weeks mark for a duo (combo) test.

Is not this "3 month" in contradiction to what is said in French offficial advise to testing (link in English): http://www.has-sante.fr/portail/upload/docs/application/pdf/2010-02/hiv_infection_screening_in_france_-_laboratory_tests_and_algorithms-conclusions.pdf  ?

While reading the posts from Teak and others on this site I start debating to myself wheather I need to re-test again.

What would be your advise?




Avatar universal
Indeed, I had today a few post exchanges on the other with teak and he is convinced my test was not conclusive. I am very worried now.
300980 tn?1194933000
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
You are correct, you do not need further testing.

Teak is very helpful to many clients but he is wrong about the idea that your test is not conclusive.  he is going by the current, U.S. CDC guidelines for tests which test only for HIV antibody.  You were tested with a DUO test which provides conclusive results far earlier.

In addition, even Teak's recommendations for the antibody tests are incorrect, although they remain the official recommendations.  I have pasted in the test of a reply to another client on the same topic which provides some explanation-

"We get many questions about the meaning of HIV test results at different time points.  This is now confused by the availability of a variety of different types of tests.  The traditional and most widely used tests for HIV are tests for antibodies to HIV which are available both as so-called "rapid" or point of care tests which can be done in the clinic and laboratory based antibody tests. For all practical purposes both of these types of test perform comparably and provide accurate information on the presence or absence of HIV infection in virtually everyone at 8 weeks following exposure.  The recommendations for testing at 3 and even 6 months are the result of two factors- data from older tests no longer used (you really do not need to worry about which generation of tests you were tested with, at this time virtually all tests are far more sensitive that they were even 2-3 years ago when the 3 month recommendation was made) and secondly, the fact that some, mostly governmental agencies which have to provide recommendations for virtually everyone without the sort of interactions such as those you get with your doctor or on personalized sites such as this one, feel they cannot "afford" to be wrong and therefore make recommendations and guidelines which leave most people unnecessarily nervous for 4-6 weeks longer than the 6-8 weeks it takes virtually everyone to develop HIV antibodies. "

As I said above, while the statement above refers to the antibody tests, you were tested by a more recent, combination antibody/antigen test which provides defintive results even sooner.  

I hope this clarifies things. EWH  
Avatar universal
Thank you again for your extensive answer.

This is my last (I guess I have only 2 questions to ask) question. I am nervouse about this whole situation because my girl-friend wants to have a baby. Since the sexual contact I described above and up to now, I had only protected sex with my g.f. Now she is insisting not to use a condom.

I do not want to risk her  her and future baby life, I hope you understand me. If there is a tiny risk, i'd better do something about it. That's why I decided to get some more knowledge about the tests etc. And, of course, the more I read about the 3 month period and HIV-2, the more nervouse and anxiouse I became.

I guess what I wrote here would not change your opinion and you still beleive I do not need an additional test?  

Kind regards


300980 tn?1194933000
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
You are correct, this is no change in my opinion or advice. Take care. EWH
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