|PEP & HIV Testing - Please HELP
Oct 16, 2003
I have been place on a PEP treatment after being exposed to an HIV+ patient with a viral load of <1500. Of course, I am VERY afraid and can't bring myself to talk to anyone. My internet research seems to indicate that the average time frame for HIV antibodies to develop and be detectable in a test is 20 days. However, since I am on a combivir/sustiva combination, will this PEP treatment affect the test results?
I am a 33 yo male with no other health issues. I am on the 16th day of treatment with side effects being fairly severe (feeling very hot/fever of 1 to 1.5 degree & fatuigue). If I should choose to dicontinue PEP at 21 days, will that be enough or must I complete the 28 day treatment?
| Response from Dr. Frascino
Hello Very Concerned,
Antiretroviral drugs (PEP) will not affect an HIV antibody (ELISA) test.
They could affect a PCR (viral load test). For instance, if you were HIV-positive, had a detectable viral load, and then took Combivir/Sustiva (or other antivirals), your viral load could decrease to "undetectable" levels. But PCR's are definitely not recommended for routine HIV screening, so this shouldn't be a problem.
Why can't you talk to anyone? How about the doctor who prescribed the PEP? Or perhaps a counselor?
The optimal duration for PEP is not known; however, we generally recommend a full 28 days, if at all possible. Your side effects might be mitigated by adjusting the time you take your pills or even substituting a different drug. Sustiva causes lots of side effects for the first 6 weeks of therapy, so I don't recommend it for PEP.
Don't spend time searching the Internet. It's full of confusing information, and some of it is just plain wrong. Talk to your doctor or see another HIV specialist in your area who can help you with your symptoms and address your concerns. OK?
Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS
- Flu Symptoms After Sex With Hooker Condom Broke Worried I Have HIV
- Sore Throat After Oral Sex With No Protection Does It Mean I Have HIV
- Swollen Lymph Glands After Kissing Cut On Lip Worried I Have HIV
- White Bumps After Receptive Anal Sex Worried I Have HIV
- Can I Catch Gonorrhea Without Having Sex?
- Can You Get Cancer From A Std?
This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.
Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither TheBody.com nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.