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The effect of HSV on HIV load for testing purposes?
Nov 29, 2007

Dr. Bob,

I have genital herpes for a year now and 2 months ago I had sex with a female sex worker in mexico who took the condom off during sex to give me a BJ and then put my penis back in her vagina with no protection. My question is if I was exposed to HIV would my HSV condition affect my viral loads and HIV test results at the 3 month mark. I am somewhat concerned because I have read that pre-existing HSV can increase the risk of HIV transmission. Will my ELISA test results be affected by HSV?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Fear not! HSV does not affect HIV ELISA test results. ELISA tests are not viral load tests. HIV viral load tests are not used for routine HIV screening. OK? You can learn more about HIV diagnostic and monitoring tests by accessing the information on those topics under the "Quick Links" heading on The Body's homepage.

Good luck. Stay safe. Stay well.

Dr. Bob



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