Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Does HIV cause yeast infections?"
I'm a woman age 31. I am very scared that I have been exposed to HIV, especially since I developed a yeast infection that I am having a very hard time getting rid of. Is it true that HIV can causes a yeast infection? Why? I already took the HIV test and it came back negative, but it could have been too soon.
Your questions is complicated. Yes, HIV can make a person more prone to all types of infections, including yeast infections. BUT, if you have had a negative HIV test, you are extremely unlikely to have HIV. The tests are extremely sensitive (which means that almost everyone who has an infection, has a positive test result). The test works by measuring the antibodies that your body makes to fight the infection. As soon as a virus is present in your body, infection fighting parts of your blood start making antibodies. These antibodies are then measured to tell you if you have HIV. There are some cases of false negative test results (extremely rare!), which usually occur in people who were only recently exposed to the virus. In these unfortunate people, the body has not had time to make enough antibodies for measurement. Again, this is extremely rare, and would only occur in people with very recent exposure (6 months after exposure is more than enough time for a test to be accurate). This is called the "window period." Newer versions of the HIV test have made this "window" even shorter by testing for parts of the virus directly. About your yeast infection: if you have recently had a negative HIV test (especially without recent exposure), it is VERY unlikely that your recurrent infection is because of HIV. Even so, you should seek the advice of your primary care doctor if there are any questions about either HIV, recurrent yeast infections, or any other STD.