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Would you consider my results conclusive?
Apr 19, 2013

Hi,

I had a low risk exposure to an hiv + persons blood on the skin of my index finger, the skin was intact as I had no visible cuts. There was only a small amount of blood. By the time I noticed the blood it had dried, this made me worry that I may have rubbed my eye or picked my nose in the time before noticing the blood and washing it off.

My doctor put me on combivir as P.E.P which I took for 30 days. After completing the medicine I started to get flulike symptoms sore throat, swollen glands and blocked nose and ears.

I then had the hiv1 DNA pcr qualitative test 14 days after stopping the medicine, which came back negative. My doctor said this was conclusive and I needed no further testing.

But I tested again using a rapid hiv1/2 finger prick test which was performed by a nurse 10 weeks after exposure. And then again at 11 weeks post exposure with another rapid test where my doctor took blood from my arm. Both tests came back negative.

The whole testing process is confusing to me regarding the window period. I understand 3 months is the time where test may give wrong results. But have heard that pep makes that period even longer?? Or is the time calculated from time of exposure?

I would just like to know if my tests are conclusive or if I will need further tests? If so which tests would be recommended and when?

Thank you very much for the help you provide

Response from Ms. Southall

Hi PEP does not increase the window period. Getting tested initially at 3 weeks then again at 90 days is conclusive. Receiving test at 11 weeks is a good indication that you are HIV free. Your exposure was very low risk, HIV begins to die once it is outside of the body and is unable to infect. The fact that the area the blood was on did not have any open areas or cuts did not pose a risk. The fact that the blood was dry when you touched both your eye and nose again the risk is very small.

Be well and stay safe, Shannon



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