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HIV-2

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Joe5055:
Hi everyone.

So my exposure was 100 days ago.

Tests -

HIV-1 PCR - 18 days
4th gen - 32, 60, 68, 82, 90
HIV-2 PCR  (can detect around 100 copies per ML) 98 days

All negative

Iím only worried about HIV-2 and sub variants of it and HIV-1 now.

The main worry is I know HIV-2 viral load is waaaay lower than HIV-1 in the chronic phase (which I may be in given that itís been 7 weeks since my symptoms started), so it might of been missed by the viral load test. In which case all Iíve had is antibody tests for HIV-2. I want to move on though and I really thought i would with this test. And if I canít move on with this I donít know what option there is but test every month for ages. With that in mind, these questions are to help me move on -

1) if my ARS symptoms at 7 weeks post exposure were indeed ARS caused by ANY type of HIV (especially HIV-2) surely my tests wouldíve been positive?
2) Surely itís not possible to have a negative antibody test AND viral load test so close together, and so long after exposure, and HIV-2 NOT be detected? I.e if viral load is below 100 per ml then that is as a result of antibodies taming the virus, so antibodies would be detectable. Is this true even though my last antibody test was 8 days before the PCR?
3) Again, another Avenue of potential reassurance. If I was in the chronic stage (the reason for an undetectable viral load) then surely the Ag part of the 4th gen would be positive as it is cross reactive with HIV-2 after acute stage?

Iím aware the answer is likely Ď3 months is conclusive for HIV-2í. Sure. These questions are just extra reassurances that can help me move on. The 3 month thing alone wonít do that for me.

Thanks 😊

Jim Allen:
What was the exposure?

Joe5055:
(Brief) Unprotected vaginal sex with a second worker

Jim Allen:
Hiya,

Whatever is making you sick has nothing to do with HIV from this encounter, and the HIV antibody test results are considered conclusive.

You would produce antibodies to HIV regardless of how low or high the viral load would be at the set point post initial infection or during the asymptomatic stage that follows.

1) See above
2) See above
3) See above

Here's what you need to know to avoid HIV infection:
Use condoms for anal or vaginal intercourse correctly and consistently, with no exceptions. Consider talking to your healthcare provider about PrEP as an additional layer of protection against HIV

Keep in mind that some sexual practices described as safe in terms of acquiring HIV still pose a risk for other easier acquired STIs. So please do get tested at least yearly for STIs, including but not limited to HIV, and more frequently if condomless intercourse occurs.

Also, note that it is possible to have an STI and show no signs or symptoms, and the only way of knowing is by testing.

Kind regards

Jim

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