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Corticosteroid interference with HIV testing or OK to woo-hoo?

Sep 23, 2005

Hi Dr. Bob,

Following a possible exposure at the lab I work at (a drop of serum on my finger which had hangnails - not even sure if it got on the hangnails, but I digress), I went to see my PCP due to some possible ARS symptoms that I was feeling (body aches/pains, slight sore throat, swollen node - symptoms have lasted >7 weeks - no fever, rash, etc).

I tested negative EIA at 44 days and now negative again at 98 days on a rapid test. My question is this, is it OK to woo-hoo? I have very mild eczema which I apply clobetasol (topical corticosteroid) to very intermittently - for a couple days when I have a flare up on the soles of my feet - I then may go weeks/months w/o using any - would this cause interference with the assay or numb my immune system enough to prevent me from producing detectable antibodies? Any and all advice is greatly appreciated.

Response from Dr. Frascino


Your negative EIA tests at 44 days and 98 days are definitive and conclusive. Topical clobetasol does not interfere with HIV test results, ability to produce anti-HIV antibodies or the duration of the window period.

Bottom line: It's WOO-HOO time!

Stay well.

Dr. Bob

let's make this real simple!!!
Reinfecting oneself

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