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Mar 19, 2010

Hello, Dr McGowan, I`m a person who tested HIV negative sera,twice at the 3 months-6 months interval times, I`ve been reading about PCR testing and facts about HIV- persons who are actually infected as determined by the PCR method. I really need your advice,should I take the PCR test -DNA or RNA?- now that 28 weeks have passed sine the last possible exposure-I had many encounters of unprotected sex in the past-to rule out infection? I need to move on with my life.Would be very grateful if you respond to me.Thanks

Response from Dr. McGowan


Thanks for your question. The PCR test is not needed to confirm that a pewrson is not infected. Having a negative antibody test 6 months after an exposure is enough to ensure that you are negative. We sometimes use a PCR test if a person is very sick and may have newly acquired HIV within the first couple of weeks of infection. By 6 months the antibodies wouold be positive and there is no need for a PCR, it can only lead to confusion and unecessary anxiety.

Thanks, JOe

Potential Risk with + Partner
Have you had patients you had to biopsy to find HIV?

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