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Author Topic: Me again!! New Question what is seroconversion  (Read 3108 times)

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Offline Pammypoo

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Me again!! New Question what is seroconversion
« on: July 24, 2009, 01:30:23 AM »
I have seen this word quite frequently and I have looked it up and tried to understand what it means, but I don't understand. What is seroconversion? Have I done it or will I?

Thanks again to everyone for being there to answer these questions as I am still learning and trying to understand!

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
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Re: Me again!! New Question what is seroconversion
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2009, 02:51:31 AM »
Hi Pam,

If you're hiv positive, then you've seroconverted.

Sero is a prefix that comes from the word serum, which basically means blood. Conversion means change from one thing to another. In this case, what's changing is the absence or presence of hiv antibodies in your blood. When there are enough hiv antibodies in your blood to be picked up on an hiv antibody test, you are said to have seroconverted and tested positive. You've gone from hiv seronegative to hiv seropositive.

Most people who have been infected will seroconvert and test positive by six weeks after infection, with the average time to seroconversion being only 22 days.

Some people have a noticeable illness during this process, called (funny enough) seroconversion illness. It's not actually the virus itself that causes the illness, but rather it's the process your body goes through in trying to get rid of the virus and produce antibodies. One chemical the body produces during this time is interferon, and anyone who has done the hep C treatment (which uses a synthetic form of interferon) will tell you that it makes you feel like you have flu. And the hiv seroconversion illness usually also feels like flu. Not everyone gets this illness. In fact, I've met more people who never noticed such an illness than people who did.

You'll also see this sero prefix in a word that refers to choosing one's sexual partners based on their hiv status - serosort.

Hope that helps.

Ann
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Offline Pammypoo

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Re: Me again!! New Question what is seroconversion
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2009, 09:50:21 AM »
Thanks again! I have a better understanding now of what this means now.

 


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