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RNA test during PEP
Feb 4, 2013

Dear Dr. David Wohl, I'm a bit confused about one of your statements I read in a previous post about post PEP/Exposure testing where you stated "IF PEP does not work, the virus is detectable in the blood. So, the HIV RNA tests are accurate even during PEP."

I'm at my 16 day of PEP which I started 68 hours after an incident. I'm worried sick and just want to test asap but am not sure about the accuracy of the tests during PEP. Can a RNA test be conclusive during PEP or any other test that you would recommend.

Regards, ED

Response from Dr. Wohl

My point is that if PEP does not work and the exposure does go on to cause infection with HIV, the virus will by definition be replicating and will be therefore detectable in the blood.

PEP failure is very rare and we do not have a lot of data regarding the timing of virus emergence but if infection happens, so does virus.

I would not get an HIV RNA during PEP unless I experienced symptoms of acute HIV.

DW



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