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Antibody test together with PCR RNA at 9 weeks

May 17, 1999

I'm one of those people who made a very unfortunate mistake in their life - had extra-marital unprotected sex - and now are having extremely hard time to continue living the life because of extreme HIV and AIDS fears.

In my case, it was receiving oral sex from an unknown woman and deep kissing. I took HIV antibody test at 8.5 weeks and it was negative. I just returned to the doctor at 9.5 weeks and convinced the doctor to do PCR RNA viral load test (she said they had only RNA available, no DNA).

At about 7-8 weeks I started to have symptoms that could be ARS symptoms - body aches in muscles and joints, with swollen armpits (just the skin, not the lymph nodes according to the doctor). No fever or other symptoms.

1) How much can I rely on the HIV antibody test (8.5 weeks, NEG) and PCR RNA test (9.5 weeks, sensitive test type, expecting NEG) together? If both are NEG, can you say that I should not fear having HIV?

2) Could I have caused the body aches and swollen armpits just by being extremely nervous about having the virus? Could a person psychologically affect his/her body so much?

Thank you so much.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Given the timing and type of tests (if the RNA is negative), it is extremely unlikely that HIV infection is present. MH

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