Anonymous
Hello,

I've been hearing news that an aggressive strain (CRF19) is being increasingly reported in Cuba and Caribbean this year. I had unprotected vaginal sex with a lady who had visited and probably had a casual affair in the Caribbean late last year. My 6 week and 3 month HIV 1 & 2 (standard antibody) tests came back negative. Do these tests cover this CRF19 strain or not?

Regards,
Concerned patient

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Anonymous
Hello and thank you for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline. I am happy to answer your question.

From our knowledge, we are not aware of any new strain out of Cuba that may affect your test results. However, I have just done a bit of my own research and your questions are very valid. I found a website that discusses this strain. It appears that this strain, if it is true, is simple a more rapidly growing type of HIV 1, made out of a combination of HIV mutations. However, many scientists are still skeptical about this strain because the sample size used in the experiment was very small and not large enough to determine trustworthy results.

Because of this, I would not worry about this new strain affecting your test results. If they could only find a small sample size of this population within Cuba, it is unlikely that your partner would have been affected by it in the first place. Furthermore, HIV tests detect HIV 1 & 2, as well as their mutations that cause varying "strains." For this reason it is unlikely that your test results would have missed this possible new strain- especially since you took the test after your window period of 3 months. Your results can still be considered conclusive.

I hope I have answered your question and provided you with more information. I will attach the link that I found the information on so you can view it for yourself.

http://www.inquisitr.com/1848488/new-hiv-strain-crf-19-develops-into-aids-three-times-faster-than-normal-discovery-made-in-cuba/

Sincerely,

Caroline

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online Volunteer

Monday-Friday 10am-4pm PST

604-253-0566 ext 299

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