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Will bactrim ds tablets and hydrocortisone injections affect the HIV test results.
Dec 30, 2012

Dear Dr.

A friend of mine had sex with a sex worker. My friend waited for the 3 month window period to complete before he went for his HIV testing. He was having some HIV symptoms (UTI, backpain, depression etc). His doctor put him on bactrim ds for the UTI and gave hydrocortisone injection for the backpain.

After receiving the medications, my friend went for his HIV tests ( 1. Rapid Test, and the second one ELISA). The results came back negative on both the tests. Is my friend's HIV negative status conclusive? Is there any chance the medications (Bactrim DS and Hydrocortisone Injections) could have affected the HIV test results and produced a false-negative. My friend is very worried. Please help.

Response from Ms. Southall

HI The guidelines for HIV testing are to be initially tested at 3 weeks and then again at 90 days if this test is negative then so is the person. Your friend is HIV free from that exposure. The symptoms your friend is experiencing are not HIV symptoms, but rather sound like he had a UTI and the doctor was able to treat this. The results of the HIV testing are conclusive.

Be well, Shannon



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