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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: HIV and AIDS
Satisfied Customers: 17992
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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I had a question about V / AIDS. If you have tested negative

Customer Question

Hello, I had a question about HIV / AIDS. If you have tested negative many times, should you be concerned about different group that might come up in the future if I have no future risks? As in if everyone that has tested negative now - are they conclusively
negative or should they be worried that there are other strains or groups that haven't been found that they could have? I have read somewhere that all of the variations have been found? Are all future ones just mutations? I just want to know if everyone needs
to test again, etc. or if you've tested negative you don't ever have to test again?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: HIV and AIDS
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

Hello from JustAnswer.

The answer can only be based upon the current level of knowledge. At this point, all of the types and strains of HIV have been identified, but it is impossible to know whether new strains will ever develop. One year before the first case of AIDS, no one could have predicted that the first type was about to occur. Similarly, one year before the first case of HIV type 2, no one could have predicted the new type.

It is clear, though, that there is no current infections that are a mystery regarding which type of HIV is present. So, even if a new strain is discovered in a few years that has the same transmission pattern, but you also have not engaged in any risky behavior, there would be no reason to be tested for the new type of HIV.

In addition, if a new strain does occur and the testing evolves to incorporate that new strain, this will be disseminated as information to doctors and public health officials, so that patients will know if and when testing would be recommended because of a new strain.

It is important to note that it is currently recommended that everyone be regularly tested for HIV, although someone that is confidant that they are in a mutually monogamous relationship (or not having any sex) may choose to opt out. Sadly, infidelity is fairly common, so the current recommendation says that while the individual can make that determination, the doctor should not assume it and should offer testing to everyone.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry sounds like you are saying the opposite things (if there is a new strain we don't need to test and then you are saying that if tests evolve to incorporate it some people might need to be tested) can you clarify? So if a new strain occurs - there is no need to test because??Would current tests pick up all types of strains / groups?Because if you're saying that people might need to re-test wouldn't that mean that no one in the world who has tested negative for HIV is conclusive because there might be other strains out there?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm asking in terms of someone who has has absolutely no more risks. Should you be concerned? As in can you be completely sure you are negative
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

Since we can never know when a new type will evolve, we can never know when the test will evolve to include the new type. At the current level of knowledge, there is no reason for further testing. If the new type is discovered next month, then the recommendation may change, and people that have been recently sexually active may need further testing. But if the new strain does not happen for years and has the same transmission pattern, but you have not engaged in any risky behavior starting this year, then the new strain that develops in a few years would not pose any risk to you, and further testing for the new type is not necessary.

Of course, a new type may never occur. But if a new type is discovered, then someone that had recently engaged in risky behavior would need to be tested for the new type. Someone that has not engaged in risky behavior for years before its discovery would not need to be tested for the new type.

For someone that has absolutely no more risks, and no new type is discovered in the near future, there is no reason for concern, even if a new type is discovered years from now.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
if you have not engaged in any behavior for the last 2.5 years, but there is a new type discovered in a year is that worrisome?
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

No, it would not be worrisome in this situation, since the last risky behavior preceded the discovery by enough time that you could not be infected with the new type.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok, so if my last "risky" behavior was over 2 years ago and I never have any risky behavior again then I definitely don't ever need to test again is what your saying and can be sure I don't have HIV?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also, doesn't the P24 antigen test detect ALL types of HIV so shouldn't even future forms of HIV have the P24 antigen - so wouldn't it have been picked up even if it hadn't been found yet?
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

If it has already been two years since your last risky behavior, then you definitely do not need any further testing, even if a new type is discovered tomorrow.

No, not really. The p24 antigen is only expressed for a limited period of time. So even with the current types of HIV, the p24 portion of the test will be positive only for that limited period of time, and will then become negative. If the test is not done during that limited period of time, many people with the current types of HIV will have a negative p24 component. If the p24 component was reliable, by itself, then there would be no need for the antibody component of the test.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok great, thank you - just wanted to make sure I don't ever have to worry about having this disease again if I never have any other risky behavior. Right?And after 2 years and 3 negative antibody tests and a negative antigen/antibody test, and like 3 oraquick tests are all negative are you 100% negative?
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

If it has been 2 years and will never again have any risky behavior, then you are 100% negative, including any possible new type that may be discovered in the future.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. One last thing - about 3 weeks ago I had a small bump under one eye (almost like an infection) that cleared within about 2 days - and then the next week my other eye got swollen - could this have been from using the same mascara and it have transferred? Also 2 weeks later I got a cold ( I have been very stressed lately) and at some point in between had a tiny white cut / sore like thing on my back molar (which totally could have been from brushing too hard and healed after about 2 days). Can any of these have been related?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Or do they all sound like separate incidents?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I also kept falling asleep with my mascara on before that so could that have been the cause for my eyes
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

A virus that cause a cold can cause the eye symptoms, but it would be unusual to be separated by 2 weeks. The virus would not cause the tiny cut in the mouth. So, each of these are likely separate incidents.

The eye symptoms could be related to the mascara, including sleeping without removing the mascara.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok, thanks. And none of them can be HIV related if I've tested negative fro the last 2 and a half years right with not risks since then?
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

None would be HIV related.

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

If I can provide any further information, please let me know. If I have answered all your questions, please remember to provide a positive rating so that I am credited for assisting you.

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