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PEP and Testing
May 9, 2012

Hi Doc. 28hours after condom broke on partner who tested positive the next day, I was prescribed combivir as PEP. I am in South Africa and 'circumcised'. This was the first 'traumatising event of my life. I caught a flu last night (day 17 PEP)and doctor gave me a flu vaccine which i understand affects Rapid Antibody tests. What should i do now since this can present false positives for up to 4months. Should i take a PCR 7days after PEP completion? i need to continue studying asap. Also doctor, do you think i'l be fine? im doing honours accounting and badly need my future.

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for posting.

Influenza vaccine generally doesn't affect the results of HIV testing, and any tiny effect wouldn't be expected to last 4 (really, 4!?) months.

I generally don't recommend doing expensive PCR tests after PEP, since it's HIV antibody testing that is going to provide the definitive proof of HIV status.

While you had a risky exposure, you should know that any single sexual encounter has a very low probability of transmitting HIV. The fact that you went onto PEP treatment means that your risk is even lower. So, yes, all of us desire healthy futures. I'd expect yours (even, God forbid, HIV+) to be good.

Be well, BY



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