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Dr. Brian, combination of HIV antibody test and a PCR test?
Oct 23, 2007

Dr. Brian, I had a high risk exposure and after that i am freaking out everyday. So I could not wait and got a HIV antibody test done at 6 weeks after the exposure and also got a PCR done at 6 weeks after the exposure. Is my test reliable or should I wait some more time and get tested?

Thank You.

Response from Dr. Conway

The PCR test is quite reliable in helping us detect people who have been recently infected before the antibody test has had the time to become positive. It may thus allow us to intervene with treatment at an earlier stage in acute infection, as some have suggested we should be considering. However, it is not terribly useful at ruling out that seroncoversion may eventually occur. The test of record is an antibody test to be done at 3 months, regardless of whether a PCR test was done at an earlier time or not.



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