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PEP, 5 week Test and Possible RNA Test (Follow Up)
Aug 22, 2009

Dr Bob

Its me the straight red state native turned LGBT supporter!

OK, I took Truvada alone as a PEP for about two weeks before giving up on it (due to side affects). It has been 36 days since my "risky exposure". Here are my questions for your consideration. 1. Would that two weeks on Truvada have impacted my window period? 2. My five week antibody quick test (with blood not saliva) was negative. Is this reassuring or just a waste of time since the official window is 3 months? 3. You mention in the archives RNA testing has false positives...does it ever have false negatives? In other words, if I took an RNA test and it came back negative along with my 5 week negative antibody test, would that be considered conclusive?

I know you get asked these questions a lot, but I feel so comfortable hearing directly from you since I never fully have the same situation as the archived answers.

Dr Bob, you rock!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

You gave up on Truvada alone after only two weeks. Hmm . . . It's worth noting that I and millions of other HIVers have been taking fistfuls of antiretrovirals for well over a decade! Your experience is yet another reminder to all readers that having HIV and having to take antiretrovirals is no picnic! Unsafe sex is not worth the potential consequences!

On to your questions:

1. No.

2. It's encouraging, but not definitive or conclusive.

3. The problem with PCR (DNA or RNA) testing is primarily the rate of false positives (as opposed to false negatives). PCR testing is not recommended for routine HIV screening.

Dr. Bob



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