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Interrupted PEP and PCR Testing
Dec 10, 2009

Dr. Frascino, I was give poor advice from my primary care physician. He prescribed Truvada (500mg)as a PEP outside the window for effectiveness (>1 week). I took 2 500mg doses over a 48 hour period then I discontinued the treatment. I took a PCR test 22 days after taking the Truvada. My results were negative. I also took an antibodies test at 5 weeks post "possible" exposure to which the results were negative. Question: Will two doses of Truvada give a false negative? Should I disregard the PCR test? Is the antibody test effected by the Truvada?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

You are correct! You were indeed given poor advice by your primary care physician! If he did not apologize profusely for his error and gain back your trust and confidence, I'd recommend you find a new more competent primary care physician.

Two doses of PEP would not affect HIV PCR tests taken 22 days later or HIV-antibody tests taken five weeks later. However, please note, PCR testing is generally not recommended for routine HIV diagnostic screening, and HIV-antibody tests taken prior to the three-month mark are not considered definitive or conclusive. (Could you now be getting poor advice regarding HIV testing???) If you had an HIV risk, you should get a single HIV-antibody test at the three-month mark.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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