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Medication after DNA PCR test

Nov 10, 2010

Hello Dr. Bob,

Thanks for this site and all the great info.

I had protected sex with a prostitute on Oct 31, 2010. Though I felt it was a safe encounter, it was my first and hopefully my last. I spoke to a doctor and he recommended a DNA PCR test 5 days after the exposure and so I took the test on Nov 6 (Saturday).

My test results are expected on Saturday (Nov 13). A few things are bothering me:

1. I found out later that a DNA PCR test throws up false positives but my doc didn't tell me about this.

2. On the day of the test, the doc told me that if the test result was negative "I had absolutely nothing to worry about". Is that true? When I questioned him about it, he clarified that it would still be better to do an ELISA test 3 months later.

3. He said if the DNA PCR test is +ve I should get started with medication. Is that needed and if so what medication? Its too late for PEP and I live in India where PEP is probably not even available.

I just wanted to get a little background info in case I get trapped after the results this Saturday. Anyway, I'll be going for the regular test after 3 months, 6 months and again after 1 year.

Thanks for your time.


Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello SI,

(1) and (2) DNA PCR is not routinely recommended for HIV diagnosis. The HIV-antibody test outside the window period remains the gold standard and that's what I would rely on!

(3) I would not start antiretrovirals based on a single positive HIV DNA PCR test! PEP should be taken as soon as possible and no later than 72 hours after a significant HIV exposure. You can read much more about all these topics in the archives of this forum. Have a look.

Dr. Bob

Cortison and hydrocortison ?? :(
Sex toy and oral sex

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