Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Please note that in my remarks I made no reference as to which test or tests, the individuals using this approach should take.

Please note that by making reference to the blood supply I have indicated a personal knowledge about how blood is tested differently from the standard clinic test for "HIV".

          > Hi. You are obviously free to make
          > whatever decisions you want regarding
          > your safety and your body. But we did
          > want to point out a serious
          > misunderstanding that you might have.
          > You wrote that it is not necessary to
          > worry about the three month window
          > period, because the blood supply is
          > safe and they don't wait three months.
          > The problem with that thinking is that
          > you are confusing two different types
          > of tests.
          > The blood supply is screened for HIV
          > using a variation of a viral load test
          > (p24 antigen test), and the blood
          > samples collected are *pooled* in order
          > to test them for HIV. This is a very
          > different test, and pooling blood
          > samples changes the accuracy results.
          > This is *not* the test that someone is
          > given when they go for an HIV test.
          > Those tests are HIV anti-body tests,
          > and anti-bodies can take up to three
          > months to show up accurately on the
          > test, so that's the reason people are
          > told they should wait as close to three
          > months as possible.
          > Individuals are not given the same type
          > of tests that the blood supply
          > undergoes because that test has not
          > been approved by the FDA for diagnostic
          > purposes, and individual samples cannot
          > be pooled due to the timing of each
          > person requesting a test.
          > So please understand that if you merely
          > get an HIV test and a negative result,
          > and then discontinue practicing
          > safer-sex (which we believe is what you
          > are implying) you are putting yourself
          > at a higher risk than necessary for two
          > reasons. One is what we've already
          > discussed -- due to the three month
          > window period, it is possible that
          > someone was recently infected but it is
          > too soon to register on the test, and
          > so you will receive a false negative
          > result. The other reason is that if
          > someone should expose themselves to HIV
          > any time after the test, and the two of
          > you are not playing safely, then one
          > person can infect the other. Sadly, we
          > have had many calls from people who got
          > infected because of that reason.
          > So our goal is not to get into a debate
          > with you, but rather to make sure you
          > understand our perspective, so that you
          > can make an informed decision about
          > what you want to do. We hope this
          > additional information is helpful for
          > you and we send you our best wishes.

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