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 Post subject: HIV ELISA
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 9:24 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 3:46 pm
Posts: 7
A Counselor at the Massachusetts Health Department just told me that the ELISA is 100% accurate at 6 weeks. I know nothing is ever 100% but as anyone heard about this? I thought the standard was 12 weeks for the ELISA.

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: HIV ELISA
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 6:12 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2007 7:25 am
Posts: 141
StellaG wrote:
A Counselor at the Massachusetts Health Department just told me that the ELISA is 100% accurate at 6 weeks. I know nothing is ever 100% but as anyone heard about this? I thought the standard was 12 weeks for the ELISA.

Thanks!


Stella,

An ELISA test at 6 weeks is an EXCELLENT indication that you were not infected.

As you know, ninety seven percent (97%) of people will develop HIV antibodies in the first three months after contracting the virus. In very rare cases, it can take up to 6 months. The CDC still recommends a 6 MONTH test just to make absolutely certain one is negative.

This is probably because we're dealing with science and on very rare occasions, there have been individuals who have seroconverted after 6 weeks. When recommending testing, doctors want to make sure they catch the rare cases, too.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 1:40 pm 

Joined: Mon May 05, 2008 10:46 pm
Posts: 6
quick question about this.

I had a rapid HIV test at a little more then 6 months past potential exposure date.
it came back negative but i still have trouble putting my mind to ease

should i trust it?
both my doctor and the nurse who performed the test reassured me that i was fine...but why can't i get it out of my head?


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 7:58 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2007 7:25 am
Posts: 141
Bettygirl,

Trust it. As I noted above, the CDC recommends 6 month testing to rule out the extremely rare cases that would take longer than 3 months. If you have a NEGATIVE test at this juncture CELEBRATE because it doesn't get any better than that.

As for still being concerned about it, it's a good question and not offen addressed here. All of the moderators and call center agents see posts and take calls from people who can't seem to move past the negative test result. Sometimes people have existing, underlying anxiety disorders or fears. When a STI comes into play, the anxiety can just about take over one's life.

First, be sure you know what's driving the fear. People tend to hone in on the STI when the real concern is, often, what they did or who they did it with.

If you are having problems focusing and all you can think about is that you have it, even though you have been assured over and over again that you do NOT, you may want to talk with a counselor about it. Sometimes they are trained at identifying what's going on and helping you deal with it.

Remember: anxiety is a normal reaction to stress. It helps a person deal with a tense situation at school or work. In general, it helps one cope. But when anxiety becomes an excessive and irrational, it has become a disabling disorder.

I hope this helps,
Dharma

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 9:16 pm 

Joined: Mon May 05, 2008 10:46 pm
Posts: 6
Dharma

I feel like you are reading my mind.
i know that the CDC recommends the 6 month in the extremely rare cases, i just can't seem to get it out of my head.
i know in my heart that i'm fine, but in my head, not so much.
my boyfriend, a microbiologist, tells me every day to trust it, and he performs elisa tests all the time and even breaks down how the test works for me, but i still can't get it out of my head.

i know i have a high anxiety issue, i used to hyperventilate before getting on planes, have panic attacks before getting needles/getting blood drawn, etc...and i've been able to get past those as i realize they are a part of life and in order to do my job i had to get over my fear of flying, but when it comes to a life threatening disease that i feel like i intentionally put myself into harms way, i just can't get past it.

you're right, i can't get past the situation and who it happened with and the fact that i contacted HPV from that person just makes me that much more anxious.

actually, i was doing fine after the test in february and believed it to be true until i found out that i have HPV and all those irrational fears started flooding back.

I think i do need to talk to someone because i'm starting to fear ever sleeping with my boyfriend again because i'm starting to fear sex in general because of this scenario. I think i'm really going to look into this.

thank you for taking the time to answer my question, i really appreciate it.
the people on this forum truly are wonderful.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 7:27 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2007 7:25 am
Posts: 141
Bettygirl,

You are definitely NOT ALONE. There are millions of people with one form of anxiety or another. I can relate as I lost a sibling to cancer. For years after she died, I think I drove my doctor, experts on the net and, one hotline in particluar, crazy.

Looking back, I think I just wanted reassurance every time I thought about it. It became a "fix" for me to hear an expert tell me I would be okay.

I'm glad you were so open about this. I'm thinking I may start a thread that deals with anxiety alone. Perhaps others who have experienced this will come forward and talk about it so we can pow wow together and share information. :)

Dharma

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