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Are my test results conclusive?
Apr 20, 2013

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?

Response from Mr. Glenn

Thanks for your question,

It sounds like you're in the clear (HIV negative). Firstly, your initial "risk" sound questionable. It'd be different if you had a lot of blood on your hand and you rubbed that over your eyes. That would be a significant and definite source of contact, but that wasn't the case..

Secondly, you took PEP which decreases the chance of infection A LOT

Thirdly, you tested HIV negative near the 3-month mark (you used the right tests). As it approaches that time (3-months) the overwhelming majority of people will have an accurate result.

By all means, feel free to get tested again after 3-months.. but it'd be very unlikely that you'l have a different result.

Hope this helps!

Erik



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