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HIV PCR RNA test result
Aug 13, 2008

Recently I had safe intercourse with a sex worker. After 24-36 hours of the possible exposure, I developed cold (may be due to sudden whether change) and pain in Lymph nodes under the arms and near groin area, which is still there after 10 days now. My doctor recommended HIV PCR RNA test on 4th day of exposure. Result was NEGATIVE. Sir, can I assume that I am not infected? Is it advisable to go for ELISA test after 6 weeks? Pls. help, as I am about to break down. Thanks.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

If indeed you had "safe intercourse," you could assume you are not HIV infected without any testing whatsoever! HIV cannot permeate intact latex. No way. No how. Consequently, if you used a latex condom correctly and it did not fail, your HIV risk would be essentially nonexistent.

Your doctor probably ordered the HIV PCR RNA test to see if you were experiencing acute retroviral syndrome while still being within your window period (first three months after primary infection).

If you did not place yourself at risk for HIV, my advice remains: testing is not warranted. However, on the other hand, if you did have a potential HIV exposure, you should get an HIV-antibody test at the three-month mark (from the date of potential exposure).

Good luck!

Dr. Bob



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