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antibody test results reliable 5 weeks post exposure?
Apr 18, 2014

Hi Doctor. I was in an unfortunate and unforgettable situation on March 2nd. Last Tuesday I went to the clinic and took an antibody rapid test. It came back negative. On my calendar I counted 5 weeks post exposure (37 days to be exact). Can I consider that conclusive? I also asked for an Rna test and it was supposed to be available a week from Tuesday (today) but the lab emailed me and told me they need another week. Does the fact that they need two weeks to process my rna test indicate a positive result? Also, I went to a free anonymous clinic to have this blood work done. Please help. I'm scared.

Response from Dr. Wohl

No, 5 weeks is too soon to say that this one exposure did not lead to HIV transmission. A test at a minimum of 12 weeks is needed for the result would be considered evidence that you were not infected.

An RNA test that was negative now would be strong evidence of no infection but I would still get the 12 week antibody test. That the RNA is taking lover can be a function of lab issues and I would not over interpret this.

DW



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