HIV and Ganoderma Lucidum (Ling Zhi)

Originally Posted: 
Friday, October 14, 2011
Tagged With: 
Question: 

I wish to ask if ganoderma lucidum (ling zhi mushroom) can affect/delay the antibodies to show up. I was tested yesterday (after 3 months and 1 week of my last protected body contact) and the result is non-reactive or negative.
Subsequently, I took ganoderma lucidum capsule as my supplement. I am a fan of herbal products. I have learned in the internet that it ganoderma acts like anti-tumor, antibacterial, and can increase wbc and lymphocytes, etc. hence, my query whether it can affect or delay the antibodies to show up. I believe in your info about HIV. When I got the non-reactive/negative result last week it made me feel better because I have read that 3 months is conclusive. But the doctor here in the Philippines told me that 6th month is the conclusive, not the 3rd. So, it gave me worry again and have to wait again for 6 months? I don't have any medications like PEP or something that can delay antibodies. I only have been taking ganoderma as my supplement/vitamin. I wish to be enlightened and thank you very much for the assistance you will give to me. More power to your organization!
 

Answer: 

Hi there & thanks for using AIDS Vancouver as your source of HIV/AIDS related information.
No, no herbal suppliments are known to affect HIV testing. You can consider your results at 3 months to be definitive and conclusive- you do not need to re-test unless you have had another high risk exposure. 
As far as testing at 3 vs. 6 months goes, I can say this:
The CDC as well as international HIV testing guidelines for all HIV testing methods is to (re) test for HIV at 3 months (12 weeks) after an exposure.
The reason why some doctors (such as the website www.thebody.com) say 3 months and some say 6 months is that not all individuals are the same. Most individuals are able to produce HIV-antibodies within 4-6 weeks post exposure and at most by 3 months after a possible exposure. However, if a person is suffering from other severe health complications, such as cancer or type 1 diabetes, that may possibly slow down his/her body's ability to produce HIV-antibodies. In addition, if someone has taken PEP or HCV medications then it may be recommended that the re-test at 6 months.
Here is a direct quote from the British Columbian (Canadian) CDC "The window period for the antibody test ranges from 4 - 6 weeks up to 3 months, as it takes this long for HIV antibodies to reach a detectable level in the body." http://www.bccdc.ca/dis-cond/a-z/_h/HIVAIDS/overview/default.htm#heading5
The US CDC has this to say about HIV testing: "This time period is commonly referred to as the “window period.” Most people will develop detectable antibodies within 2 to 8 weeks (the average is 25 days). Even so, there is a chance that some individuals will take longer to develop detectable antibodies. Therefore, if the initial negative HIV test was conducted within the first 3 months after possible exposure, repeat testing should be considered >3 months after the exposure occurred to account for the possibility of a false-negative result. Ninety-seven percent of persons will develop antibodies in the first 3 months following the time of their infection. In very rare cases, it can take up to 6 months to develop antibodies to HIV." http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/testing/resources/qa/index.htm
So, as you can see, the CDC actually recommends that everyone get tested on or after 3 months to confirm their status. They do not encourage everyone to test up to 6 months, they only recommend retesting at 6 months only in extremely rare cases (such as PEP, HCV or immunodeficiency as I mentioned above)
If you have any further questions, please let us know by calling, emailing or posting on our forum at AIDS Vancouver's Helpline Online
All the best,
Monica
AIDS Vancouver Helpline
helpline@aidsvancouver.org
604.696.4666, Monday-Friday 9am-4pm

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