Interferon and HIV Infection
Jan 25, 2009
Dear Specialists! I was on interferon+rivaverin treatment from hep c for 6 monthes (May2008-November2008). In July 2008 I had unprotected sex with my ex-girlfriend, who knows about my status. Later I started to think that she has got HIV. I have done p24+antibody test for HIV in November 2008 and in January 2009 and they both were negative. Please could you tell me if I can trust those tests. I read that interferon treatment stops HIV from replicating and I assume that it could also increase the 'window period'. I had some nasty symptoms in December and January such as strong fatigue, male function decrease, low temperature (+34.8 C) problems with vision, headaches.
Response from Dr. McGovern
For HIV testing questions, please refer to the HIV forum.
However, from the standpoint of interferon - yes it does have some modest activity against HIV but I would not consider its effect as "protective" against transmitting or acquiring HIV infection.
Also, you should not have unprotected sex while taking ribavirin or six months after taking ribavirin due to concerns regarding the effect on this drug in terms of birth defects. Please discuss this issue in detail with your provider.
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