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Does the consumption of raw garlic change the HIV test results in any way?

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Does the consumption of raw garlic change the HIV test results in any way?

The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At August 4, 2018
Reviewed AtFebruary 18, 2024

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I have a skin allergy, rashes, hives and weight loss.

Answered by Dr. Sushil Kakkar

Hello, Welcome to icliniq.com.

I have noted your concern. I would like to know the duration of your complaints (rashes/ hives). Kindly also upload images of the rashes, if any. Have you taken any treatment already?

Regards.

Patient's Query

Thank you doctor,

I had one exposure-type scenario on roughly ten months ago. After that, I was always anxious. I donated blood at an event 41 days past the incident. But, it was all fine. After that, my health started deteriorating. I lost 13.2 to 15.4 lbs over a six-month period. Next, I underwent an HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) rapid antibody screening test five months back. It was nonreactive. Since the last two months, I suffer from skin rashes, and hives with itching. Every day and night my skin gets inflamed with red bumps. I visited a doctor. He suggested CMIA p24 combo test. The result: index 0.11 nonreactive. Should I go for any further test? Is there any test to check for HIV in semen and saliva. I am suffering from anxiety. Help me out. Please find the attached file of my lab test report.

Answered by Dr. Sushil Kakkar

Hello, Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I have gone through your reports (attachment removed to protect patient identity). The result of your screening test for HIV antibodies done five months back is conclusive. You do not need any further tests. Even the CMIA (chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay) p24 Ag and HIV antibody combo screening test is conclusive. So that is doubly reassuring. For hives, I suggest you take tablet Allegra (Fexofenadine) 180 mg once a day for three weeks. Topically, use a soothing moisturizer such as Venusia soft lotion or Sarna lotion, if you develop hives or rashes.

Regards.

Patient's Query

Thank you doctor,

Should I go for an RNA (Ribonuleicacid) PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test for HIV? Is there any possibility that the virus remains latent or does not appear in the blood but remains in the semen? Shall I go for saliva and semen test for the same? Please suggest. Also, I am worried these hives are related to an STD. Is that a possibility?

Answered by Dr. Sushil Kakkar

Hello, Welcome back to icliniq.com.

There is no need for an HIV RNA PCR test. A negative screening test for HIV antibody (rapid test) at and beyond three months from a risky exposure is the most accurate and confirmatory screening test. A very low percentage of HIV patients, known as 'long-term non-progressors' may have an undetectable HIV RNA in their blood and are able to maintain a high CD4 cell count as a result of a check on viral multiplication. Even in them, the rapid test for HIV antibodies is usually positive. This is hence the most reliable screening test. There is no need to go for any more tests. Regarding hives, they are certainly not due to HIV or any other STD (sexually transmitted diseases) in your case. Hives can be due to numerous other causes like allergans in food and food preservatives, drugs, infections like viral, bacterial, fungal, protozoal, etc. A lot many cases are idiopathic, meaning there is no identifiable cause. The treatment for hives is largely symptomatic with oral antihistamines.

Patient's Query

Thank you doctor,

I consume raw garlic on a regular basis on an empty stomach in the morning. Does this consumption of raw garlic alter or influence the test result for HIV?

Answered by Dr. Sushil Kakkar

Hello, Welcome back to icliniq.com.

No, the consumption of raw garlic before a test doesnot influence the test results in any way.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Sushil Kakkar
Dr. Sushil Kakkar

Dermatology

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