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Conclusive testing?
Apr 8, 2008

I took an antibody hiv test 3 months after potential exposure with negative result. As I had some symptoms (within and after the three months period) the Dr ordered a Real time PCR RNA test at six months afer exposure with the result <40 copies (undetectable). I know that some people can be undetectable without antiretroviral treatment. I did not have antibodies at three months and had controlled viremia at six months. Do I need further testing, e.g. antibody at six months?

Many thanks in advance.

Response from Dr. Conway

You definitely do NOT need further testing. The tests that are currently available to detect HIV antibodies are extremely reliable. A negative test 3 months after a possible exposure is considered conclusive, and no further follow-up is needed. In rare cases, someone can be infected and not develop antibodies (this is, however, quite rare) and further testing should only be considered if there is a reason to think the person may not be able to develop antibodies normally. In this case, the viral load test may not have been necessary. But since it was done, we will take it as confirmation that you are not infected. Once again, no more testing is needed at this point.

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