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PEP testing! (answer this one)
Aug 15, 2008

Hi, i had unprotected receptive sex with a hiv male (obviously didnt know this at the time). I received PEP, while i was on PEP i had a fever after 2 weeks that lasted about 5 days. After i had finished PEP my lymph nodes in my neck swelled. I had a 3 month post-finishing pep test. It came back negative woo! but 4 months post-pep my lymph nodes in my neck are still swollen (the nurse at the GUM clinic verified they were swollen). Surely if they were swollen a week after finishing PEP the test would have picked antibodies up three months later? the test was an elisa i think but instead of testing for the p24 antibody im pretty sure they said it tested for the p24 antigen - i.e. to spot active viral infection as well. I am obviously going back after 6 months post pep to test again. My question - since my lypmh nodes were swollen for 2.5 months before the test shouldnt it have picked it up if hiv was the reason for the swelling? also i stand a good chance of being negative at 6 months dont i? THANK YOU SOOOOOOOO MUCH, Robert J Frascino a.k.a. Hero! p.s. can you reply to this one i sent the q without entering my email before :/

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Your three-moth (post-PEP) negative ELISA and p24 antigen test are extremely encouraging. The guidelines for post-PEP HIV screening recommend one more HIV-antibody test at the six-month mark. Your chances of being HIV negative are excellent.

Regarding "symptoms," they are notoriously unreliable in predicting who is and is not HIV infected. Rely on your test results, not vague symptoms that could be caused by a wide variety of ailments.

Finally, remember never to put yourself at such risk ever again. No glove. No love. No exceptions.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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