Q. Does a dry cough for nearly three months indicate an HIV infection?

Answered by
Dr. Ravinder K. Manchanda
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Nov 16, 2022

Hello doctor,

I had sexual intercourse with a sex worker 23 weeks ago. And it was protected and was my first time, and it did not last more than 10 minutes. After a few days, I fell sick for a day or two, and it was gone. But then my friend told me condoms are not 100 ℅ protective. So that scared me. For a few weeks, I did not have the guts to get myself tested, but in the 10th week, I got myself tested with an ELISA kit, which was negative. Then I read on the internet that card tests are not perfect, so on the 12th week, I took HIV 1 and 2 serum test, which was negative. After that, I took multiple tests, and all were negative. But what scares me is that I had a dry cough for nearly three months and consulted a doctor. He told me it was an allergy, and my X-ray report was normal, so he sent my blood for an immunoglobulin test to see what it could be. Was this cough due to HIV? I have been a smoker for five years. Can the IgG test show the HIV in it?

Thank you.



Welcome to

Firstly, your symptoms could be due to various reasons and not necessarily represent HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infection. Your HIV test results are conclusive. Chronic smoking can be the cause of cough. You do not require more tests for HIV if there has been no further exposure other than that you mentioned. If the condom had been used consistently and correctly and it did not break or slipped off, the chances of HIV acquisition would have been nonexistent.

Thank you.

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