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Concern about HIV test Sequence
Sep 28, 1998

Hi, I had a possible exposure on Aug, 12. I had p24 Antigen test done on Sept,15. The p24 Ag is negative. My doctor ordered HIV RNA on Sept, 23. My question is that how accurate the HIV RNA could be if I am recovering from a cold or flu. Will it interfere my HIV RNA test? It's been six weeks after the exposure and I have not taking any medication. The only medication I took was Tylenol Flu and Alka Seltzer to stop coughing and running nose. I worry about these medication or illness causing the misleading result of test.

Could you also tell me that the accuracy of the test sequence like this? My doctod told me that since I test negative on p24 Antigen five week after possible infection, the HIV RNA should be able to help us rule out the infection if the result come back undectable. He said the viral load should tell us something during the primary infection. I concern the accuracy of the HIV RNA because of the cold of flu I got during the test.

Please help me figure this puzzle.

Thanx for you help.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

The medications will have not effect on the viral load test. Cold viruses in and of themselves will not cross react with HIV viral load tests. I doubt an acute upper respiratory viral infection would affect the development of HIV infection if it were present. MH



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