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Desperate and need info about PCR test
May 15, 2002

Ryan,

I know that you are a busy man, and I want to thank you for all the work that you have done on the site. I have asked you some questions a few times with no response, please please please, answer me.

I gave unprotected oral sex to a man who did ejaculate in my mouth, his status and identity is unknown. As soon as this happened I spit it out and then rinsed my mouth out. I knew that I had mad a grave mistake. My oral state seemed ok, I'm pretty clean. I don't know if I have any cavities but my gums are ok. I am not homosexual and am very very very scared. With in 48 hours I started to get hot flashes and a tightness in my throat. I went into a panic, my stomach is upset and everything else has gone wrong. I can tell you that I have not had a fever and that other then my throat being dry and scratchy it seems fine. My arm pits and groin area seem too sweat a bit more then normal, and I do have night sweats but not that bad and I have always had night sweats. My arm pits and inside my thighs are sore, like a diaper rash. This has been happeneing since week 1.5

I am now on day 24 after possible infection. I have taken an antibody test on day 8, to give me a baseline. I also took a PCR test. These both came back neg. I am going to have another PCR taken on day 28 and then an antibody test at 90 days.

My question to you is given my data (I know that you can not diag me online) what are my chances, or do you have any information that can help me through this process. Does the early PCR give any signs? Please help me! If you don't want to post my message that is ok, but please help me ;(

Response from Mr. Kull

PCR testing is likely to detect virus in infected people in the first few weeks after infection, but is most useful when a person is actually experiencing symptoms of acute infection. If you are using the PCR to determine whether or not you are experiencing acute infection, the PCR test is showing that you are not.

PCR testing is not licensed to be used for diagnosis of HIV infection. An undetectable PCR test in the absence of antibody testing is not definitive. See my response to PCR or ELISA testing? for more info on this.

You are at low-risk for infection. HIV can be transmitted through receptive fellatio (having someone's penis in your mouth), but the risk of infection is much lower than unprotected anal or vaginal sex. Having a person ejaculate in your mouth can increase the risk of infection, but the risk still remains low.

PCR testing in your case is not necessary unless a doctor is strongly suspecting symptoms of acute infection. Antibody testing at three months is sufficient.

It sounds like you had quite an anxious response to the sexual encounter. Don't dismiss the importance of that. Please see a professional counselor if you feel like your anxiety persists.

RMK



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