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Accuracy of HIV RNA test
Feb 21, 2012

Hello Dr, I wanted to know how accurate the HIV RNA test is at 14 days after exposure. I know it's probably hard to give a % because it's something that has not been studied as intensely as antibody test, but as an HIV expert if you had a patient who had a significant exposure(condom break with CSW) and then a negative ultra sensitive RNA test at 14 days, what would you conclude from that? It's ironic that I am going through this now because I'm in the middle of my HIV lecture in class and you were actually quoted in the lecture as saying " it's not very often that we have treatment for a disease, and we tell the patient not to go on meds and once you get sicker and irreversible damage has occurred, then we will put you on meds.". It shows your very well respected in the field to be quotes in these lectures.

Response from Dr. Wohl

Thanks. At 14 days post exposure an undetectable HIV RNA is a very (very) strong sign that you are not infected. I assume you are not on PEP. I would do the recommended testing at 4-6 weeks with an antibody test and if negative, you are home free. DW



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