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Avatar universal

When are tests FINAL despite symptoms/signs?

Dear Doctors, I am very scared and looking for advice.  For almost 3 years now I have had health issues that continue until this day which I have not had prior. These include chronic sore throat, bad muscle spasms, tingling in extremities, pins and needles, and things/strings floating in my vision in both eyes.  Up until 3 years ago I was NOT a smart person and had multiple exposures with CSW.  They started back in 1999 up until mid 2009 which was my LAST exposure.  My first HIV test was in 2008 which was negative.  I have never been diagnosed with any STD.  Fast forward to now.  As of last week I had a full panel of STD tests done by my doctor which was extensive.  These were ALL negative and included:

HIV antibody 1/2 combination
HIV 1/2 Duo
HIV 2 specific EIA
HIV 1 PCR RNA
HIV 1 PCR DNA
HIV 2 PCR DNA
HIV 1 Western blot
Gonorhea
Syphilis: RPR, TPPA, FTA-ABS, and EIA
Chlymidia

Was hoping you could answer these questions as much as detailed as possible:
1)Regarding HIV, is there ANY way that HIV could be missed or a certain clade or group could not be found by these tests and giving false negative?
2)Could a person have more advanced HIV and not give antibody response and miss it on PCR testing?(Only groups M validated for most tests)
4)Are there any limitations of HIV tests that would miss an infection?
5)Can a person go years without testing positive on any HIV test despite multiple tests (AB or PCR) but still have infection(Without other exposures as in my case)?
6)Regarding syphilis, can you have ALL of these tests be negative and have some stage of syphilis(tertiary, late, neuro) that can not be found?
7)Are there limitations of the syphilis tests that could miss infection?
8)No matter what symptoms are would you disregard STD or any sort?
9)What is XRMV and is that a possibility?  Sounds plausible.

I really need answers and looking hard for them.  I have regular blood work set up for next week.  I would really like to hear your thoughts.
Thank you
7 Responses
239123 tn?1267647614
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Welcome to the forum and thanks for your question.  It should have been in the HIV forum, but the "Important" disclaimer message about this is obscure and easy to miss.  We'll move this to the correct forum.

Just yesterday I wrote a very detailed reply to a question about HIV window times.  It answers just about all your questions about the HIV test results:

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/HIV-Prevention/what-is-the-window-period-for-hiv/show/1704700

HIV symptoms are very nonspecific -- i.e. the identical symptoms occur in hundreds of other conditions, most of them far more common than HIV.  In any case, your symptoms don't really suggest HIV anyway.  They aren't typical at all, especially for an HIV infection that might have been present for several years.  Therefore, test results always overrule symptoms. Your results prove you don't have HIV.  Your symptoms also do not suggest any other STD.  To your specific questions:

1-5) The answer is no to all.  None of these scenarios is a realistic possibility.

6,7) No.  Syphilis tests are highly reliable, and your symptoms don't suggest syphilis any more than HIV.

8) Yes, I would discount any and all STDs as explanations for your symptoms.  In addition to the negative tests and the wrong symptoms, some STDs (e.g., chlamydia, gonorrhea) clear up on their own, without treatment, within a few months.

9) Xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) is a recently discovered virus once believed to be related to prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome.  More recent research has proved otherwise.  As far as I know, its transmission has not been worked out.  It is not considered an STD.  There's a good Wikipedia article on XMRV.

For sure you don't have HIV or any other STD.  You'll have to look elsewhere for causes of your symptoms.  I doubt they have anything to do with your past sexual exposures.  Most of them sound like pretty normal body sensations experienced by everyone from time to time.

I hope this has helped.  Best wishes--  HHH, MD
Avatar universal
Thank you for your reply and I apologize for putting in the wrong forum. A couple of thing i would hope you could comment on and clarify.

1)is it possible to test negative with HIV at nearly three years but somehow test positive later on?  This assuming no other exposures.
2)Is that degree of HIV without a doubt conclusive at this point?
3)do the tppa, fta-abs, or eia turn negative or ever lie in late syphilis where you can get a false negative? I've read that they remain positive but didn't know if you knew of any difference, say as in late syphilis(neuro)?

These are not "normal sensations", but I want to eliminate these two possibilities.
4)have i done all I can?

Thanks
239123 tn?1267647614
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
The answer to all these questions is a firm no.  You have done everything necessary to eliminate HIV and syphilis (including neurosyphilis) as the cause.  My advice is to do all you can to accept the scientific reality and get beyond your apparent obsession of HIV or any STD as the cause of your symptoms.  It simply isn't plausible, and it isn't normal to be so resistant to such strong evidence and reasoned reassurance (which you probably have had from your doctors, perhaps several times over the years).  As I said before, I am convinced your symptoms are not due to any infection from the sexual exposures you are concerned about.

There is no information you can offer that is likely to change my opinion or advice, so that will end this thread.
Avatar universal
Dr Hansfield, thank you for taking the time again. This is not going to be a "what if" or other, hope you Could answer these questions I had regarding the stds/HIV?  I can repost in std forum, but I intended to ask you originally.


1)I forgot to tell you that although rare, I was tested for HTLV 1/2 antibodies through labcorp screening test at two years of that last exposure. I have read that it can take YEARS to detect detectable antibodies with HTLV 1/2. Is that ABSOLUTELY CONCLUSIVE or would PCR be of any more benefit or any better test?
2)what is absolute window period for htlv?3)tppa for syphilis always positive once it turns positive?
4)HIV going to be found this far out, no matter what strain, subtype, clade?


Thanks for all your attention to us folks. Also, btw, how often do you check the board? You two men are EXCELLENT at replies. Take care, there will be no more from me, PROMISE!!!!
239123 tn?1267647614
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
With apology, I cannot help with your HTLV test.  HTLV 1 and 2 are not considered an STD, I have never tested anybody for them, and am not familiar with the available tests.  I would suggest you speak with the doctor or clinic who requested your tests; or if you did it on your own, e.g. through an online testing service, contact them.

Once a TPPA is positive, it remains positive for life.

I already answered re HIV and I'm not going to repeat myself.
Avatar universal
Dr. Hansfield, I got the results of labs back today and wanted to know if it at all changes your mind. I will be happy to pay another posting fee if necessary  All my labs including CBC, C reactive protein, and hiv test were negative, BUT my ANA was positive with a titer of 1:80 and significant vitamin D deficiency.
1) could any of these alter the reliability of HIV testing?
2) could any of these alter the reliability of syphilis tests?
3) should I disregard any and all std from exposure(S) nearly three years ago or more no matter what the symptoms may be?

I am working with my primary care doctor but wanted to know your thoughts.
Thank you
--if you would like me to start a new post I will.
239123 tn?1267647614
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
There are no medical conditions that alter the reliability of HIV testing or time to positive results, with the theoretical possibilities of severe and life threatening conditions like terminal cancer.  Even here I stress "theoretical": to my knowledge there are no reports in the medical literature that it actually happened.  The same is true for syphilis and other STD tests.  You definititely should "disregard any and all std from exposure(S) nearly three years ago or more no matter what the symptoms may be".

That will end this thread for sure.  Don't start a new thread that duplicates the same questions.  It would be deleted without reply (and without refund of the posting fee).
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