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Author Topic: ARS like symptoms but no HIV antibodies. Delayed seroconversion possible?  (Read 6213 times)

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Offline bastian

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Hi, I would like to ask your opinion concerning my specific experience.

To make it short: July 22:
  • insertive anal sex with a person of unknown HIV status; unfortunately the condom cracked
  • started PEP (Truvada/Kaletra) 2,5 hours later; however, they didn't tell me that I had to take the pills together with some food (I found that out only about one week later)
  • 9 days after exposure I developed flu-like symptoms (fever, myalgia, one swollen node plus - and that's the scary part - rash on chest, back, armpits and arms, lasting about 5 days)

I had HIV antibodies tests at 2, 5, 12, 16 weeks post exposure and they all came back negative.

However, I am currently experiencing severe fatigue (started 3 weeks ago), am feeling dizzy and am having dark bags around my eyes.

I was told that my test results were conslusive and that I should no longer worry about HIV. The main argument (apart from the negative test results of course) was that if my initial symptoms had been ARS then antibodies would have been detectable shortly after.
But now I am thninking that I might have been co-infected with HCV (which could explain my current fatigue) and that this might lead to delayed seroconverion of both HIV and HCV antibodies. There are a few documented cases (http://www.healthsystem.virginia.edu/pub/safetycenter/internetsafetycenterwebpages/trainingeducationalresources/co-infection-with-hiv-and-hcv.pdf)

I know that I could probably do a PCR test, but in my country (Belgium) these are not used for diagnostic purposes for some reason I don't understand...

Ok, wo what is your take on this? Thank you in advance for your comments!

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: ARS like symptoms but no HIV antibodies. Delayed seroconversion possible?
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2012, 10:31:56 AM »
Bastian, you did have a risk with the condom breaking, but it was a low level one.

The PCR was not intended to be used for diagnostic purposes. A standard HIV test is sufficient. In your case that should be done at 3 months past the completion of PEP. With the negative results you have already received I expect you will continue to test negative.

There is nothing HIV specific about the symptoms you are reporting. If they persist you should discuss them with your doctor to find out what the real cause of them is.

I expect you to come out of this ok.
Andy Velez


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