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How to find out when you were infected

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pinkadam:
Hi
I was diagnosed with HIV four months back.
How to find out when i was infected.I had unpreotected sex with multiple partners from long time(over 5 years). What is the best way to find out when i was infected.


Tony

Blixer:
Tony,  Sorry to hear about your diagnosis.  You should find lots of support here.

I was diagnosed in January of this year and after my first appointment with the ID specialist in late February I asked if there was any way to know how long I had been infected.  I was told that there was really no way to know.  Based on my very first numbers the speculation was that it could have been several years.  Yet, I had a negative HIV test about 5 years ago.  My numbers actually improved dramatically prior to starting meds.  Other experts that I have posed the same question to simply say there is really no way to know for sure unless you have been getting tested very regularly.  They said that everyone's body reacts differently so right now there are no really consistent "time" markers to pinpoint the time of past infection.

That's what I've been told by people who are supposed to know.

Coffeechick88:

--- Quote from: pinkadam on November 08, 2006, 10:31:56 PM ---Hi
I was diagnosed with HIV four months back.
How to find out when i was infected.I had unpreotected sex with multiple partners from long time(over 5 years). What is the best way to find out when i was infected.


Tony



--- End quote ---
There really is no way to tell exactly when you were infected.  There can be speculation based on lab results (for example if you just found out and you happened to have numbers consistent with "full blown AIDS", then it would be likely that you've had it a while since people don't tend to go downhill immediately), but other than that you just cannot know.  Another way to speculate is if you were tested regularly, but still that would only provide an estimate.

Andy Velez:
Hi Tony,

This is a question that understandably comes up from time to time. And the bottom line is that most of the time there is no answer,  especially when there have been multiple partners over an extended period of time. You may have been infected a long while back and been one of those who simply didn't have any noticeable symptoms at the time. Or it may have been more recently and again, you simply didn't have any reaction that caught your attention.

The most important thing is the here and now -- getting yourself a good doctor with whom you can develop a good working partnership to keep you healthy and doing whatever else you need to do so you can get on with your life.

You're always welcome here to ask questions and to discuss anything that's on your mind.

Cheers,

ChaplinGuy:

I think this is interesting. Most posts here seem to contradict what my ID told me (and realize that it may have been her effort to give me some sense of understanding progression). After my first labs (which showed VL of 30,000 and a CD4 of 480) she said that I had probably contracted the virus 3-4 years ago. I did feel good knowing that, but then my next labs show VL of 7,000 and a CD4 of 460 - which was an odd dip on a number of levels, especially since my VL dropped way down but CD4s took a slight dip.

I'm sure that no one knows for sure, but assumed from my doc's quick claims of an approximate window that it was somewhat feasible to determine infection point.

Anyone else had similar estimates from their ID specialists? Or do most avoid trying to make such an educated guess?

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