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HIV PCR test - when I can get tested?
Apr 9, 2007

Dear Doctor Bob,

I was curious - after what period of time HIV PCR test will give me a definite result, and does it matter if I am on antibiotics during the time the HIV PCR test is performed? I have heard that HIV PCR test will give you results after 28 days, is it true? And if it is, why most ppl have to wait 3 month for ELISA test?

I had a protected oral and vaginal sex with several (5) sex workers many times during one week, once I recieved a barehand handjob from a sex worker after I had protected sex with her, and after 2 - 3 weeks I felt burning sensation after urination, burning tip of my penis. I got tested for NGU and chlamidia, but it turned out negative. Doctor prescribed me antibiotics 4 pills to take at the same time. Symptoms did not get better. I went to CDC to get tested for everything - results are negatives, however they concluded that I have epididymitis. Now I have joint and muscle pains, still have burning sensation after urination, lymph nodes were enlarged, but the are ok now, and now headaches started.

I am worried that I might have contracted HIV, and ver nervous and anxious about that fact. waiting for 3 month would be extremely hard me, so I consider to get a reliable HIV test asap. What tests would you reccomend?

Thank you very much for the help you are providing to ppl, I was much more worried before I read your answers.

This experience turned my life around, and I decided to live life to the fullest, every waking moment of it, no matter if I HIV positive or not. Of course, I would be prefer to be HIV negative, but I guess I had to pay for my stupidity somehow...

I will be making a donation to your foundation, regardless of your answer, or the lack of it, just because I want to help somehow people living with HIV.

P.S. Have you heard of the doctor Abalaka in Nigeria who claimed that he found HIV cure? Do you think this is just a scam?

Thank you in advance.

Regards, Very-Worried-Trying-To-Be-Anonymous-Male.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

HIV PCR tests are not recommended for routine HIV screening, due to the rate of false-positives, other technical considerations and cost. (HIV PCR tests are not FDA approved for routine HIV screening.)

Regarding your HIV risk, "protected" sex is indeed protected, if the latex condom was used properly and did not fail. Hand jobs are not considered a risk for HIV transmission. If the CDC tested you for everything and the results are negative, you can be quite confident you do not have an STD. Based on your "risk," HIV testing would not be medically indicated. However, if you continue to be worried, get tested at the three-month mark. The results will undoubtedly be negative.

You can read additional information about HIV-screening tests and risks of HIV transmission in the archives.

To date, there is no HIV cure in Nigeria or anywhere else, despite what Jeremiah Abalaka might claim. Stay tuned to The Body for accurate and timely information about HIV/AIDS. I can assure you if and when a cure is found we'll all be WOO-HOOing like a gaggle of screaming banshees.

Good luck on your three-month definitive HIV test, although in reality I doubt you need the luck, as I am quite confident you are HIV negative.

Dr. Bob



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