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Oral Sex and RNA False Positive
Feb 23, 2014

Hi. I had oral sex with a male escort and protected penetrative sex. About 10 days after the incident, I developed a very sore throat and started panicking. I went to to the local clinic and (even though it was way too soon) they did an HIV antibody test (which was negative). They suggested to get checked for common STD's. I went to the doctor and they took blood and other samples for STD testing and I asked that they also do an RNA test, which seems to have a short window period for testing. My sore throat subsequently developed into a full blown cold with runny nose and post nasal drip - no fever, muscle ache or night sweats. My concern now is that the cold virus could give a false positive for the RNA test. Is this likely?

Response from Ms. Southall

Hi No, a cold will not affect an RNA test or an HIV test. The RNA is looking for the actual HIV and the HIV test is looking for your body building antibodies against HIV. Both will happen if you have HIV present. Condoms are effective in the prevention of HIV transmission, as long as they are used correctly and do not break or slip off. Also if lubricant is used it must be water based. The testing guidelines for HIV are to be initially tested at 3 weeks post exposure and then again at 90 days. As long as there are no other exposures happened during this time frame than the results are conclusive. I would receive testing again at the 90 day mark but your overall risk of HIV is incredibly low because you used protection.

Be well and stay safe, Shannon



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