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re: HIV-1 proviral DNA by PCR
Aug 3, 2008

Dr. Bob, I just saw this post and and ordered that same test by that private md labs for $260. I went on PEP for 28 days with combivir - after a high risk exposure (unprotected sex) and irregular period with an confirmed hiv positive person. I am wondering, today via this private labs test ( i tested negative 6 weeks into the nightmare) - i think the test includes all the following: i am looking at the print out page:

HIV-DNA, PCR/HIV Ab HIV_DNA by PCR HIV DNA PCR result: HIV-1 DNA NOT DETECTED

They also run a HIV 1/0/2 Abs-Index Value <1.00 (result: non-reactive)

And a Hiv 1/O/2 abs, qual - result (non-reactive).

Okay, i got my result and i was thinking i am not out of the clear because i need to test out to 6 months. But i had symptoms - muscle fatigue on legs, weird rash on both sides of abdomen, and wierd acne formation on sole of legs and back of leg like 30 of them that disappeared 5 days after starting PEP.

I am wondering is my result not at all encouraging - and should not give me any hope that may truly be negative?

I am sweating again. I was hoping in another 6 weeks if i run the same test- and it come back negative at 12 weeks - i could probably say im negative - am i wrong?

Please advise. thank you.

Mr. Lost at your Mercy.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Mr. Lost at Your Mercy,

Running very expensive PCR tests during or after PEP is not necessary or recommended. The post-PEP testing guidelines recommend an HIV-antibody test at three and six months from the date of exposure. You can download a copy of the formal recommendations at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5402a1.htm. Having said that, your negative studies at six weeks are indeed encouraging, but not yet definitive or conclusive. Any negative testing is always encouraging; however, since testing at six weeks is not conclusive, it is not formally recommended. My advice is simple. Stick to the guidelines. You'll not only save time, energy, blood and boatloads of money, you'll also have test results that are definitive and conclusive.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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