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3 month test for HCV, HBV HIV from sexual encounter. Test further?
Apr 6, 2008

I had a sexual risk with a woman on her period in early December. I also used her razor to shave my beard though if I recall correctly I rinsed it out beforehand. I acquired Chlamydia from the encounter and treated with Azithromycin. I've been vaccinated for HepB in 2003 (3 jabs 1 month apart each) though I've not been tested for immunity.

I've taken HIV (Ab/Ag), HBV and HCV tests at 28, 60, 90, 100 days and they've all came back negative. My GP said at the time of the last test not to concern myself with HCV infection, he treats a lot of Hep in IDUs and it's uncommon for it to be transmitted sexually, though he may have been trying to calm my anxieties. Also he said my 100 day Ab/Ag test is conclusive for HIV.

I'm not so confident in the results though.

I read in the archives that testing out to 6 months is required for HIV and HCV and a year if evidence of HCV acute infection. How long would Hep B or C acute infection take to cause symptoms? How long would HCV on it's own, HIV on it's own and both HCV with HIV take to be detectable in tests?

I've had a fair bit of itching all over the last month or so and dry skin all over. I'm not sure it is stress, reaction to Fluoxetine, HIV or Hepatitis. My anxiety levels are dangerously high, even I've even sprouted quite a many grey hair over the 4 months since the exposure.

I'm suspecting the woman is Hep * + as she has a few bottles of Milk Thistle supplements in her kitchen cupboard. In a photo of her seperated husband he looks quite yellow. I suspect he is bisexual from her account of the situation and I understand HIV /HCV co-infection is quite prevalent in MSMs.

The GUM clinic said if I had Hep C it probably would have shown by the 90 day test I had though I have the option of testing at 6 months for Hep C (and Syphilis) there. They will not give me any further HIV tests though as they said they satisfied the UK BASHH 12 week guidelines. Every GUM clinic in the UK I have spoken with have said 12 weeks is conclusive for HIV, irrespective of co-infection.

In case I do have Hep, what are my best options for trying to clear it at this stage (4 mths)?

Not sure what to do here or when to test to for HIV, Hep B or Hep C?

Many thanks, Eddie

Response from Dr. McGovern

Your physician is correct to say that HCV is more common spread through injection drug use, although acute HCV has been reported in multiple studies in US and Europe in MSM. Acute HCV in this instance has been associated with presence of other ulcerative STDs and traumatic sex.

HCV is usually apparent by antibody testing by 3 months; however, testing to six months is commonly performed for the few patients who are "outliers". Whether testing will go this far is determined by the exposure risk. Hepatitis B surface antigen is usually detected by 10 weeks after exposure.



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