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I have seen you info on PCR RNA tests and have a few questions on my situation.
I was having sex with a Thai sex worker in the UK and the condom broke, probably unprotected for about 5 minutes. i was struck with such horror that i have barely slept since and have had anxiety attacks. I have since had a Chlayida and Gonnarea test both negative at 9 days, i had a rapid test at 4 days negative (know this was too early).
I then spent a fair bit of money and had a PCR test at 13 days which again came back negative. so questions;
1. The test i took was a PCR MPX (multiplex test) was this an RNA test? All is says on the results i got back from the clinic/lab was MPX HIV-HBV-HCV PCR - Multiplex results. Is a Multiplex test basically an RNA test?
2. I saw that you said that the test is over 99% at 10 days exposure, the doctor at the clinic i used said its pretty much conclusive at my exposure (13 days), he said like 99.6% is he right?
3. Why are their people/websites that try and discredit the test so much especially on US websites, saying it’s a waste of money and feeds off people’s emotions/anxiety? Saying there is no evidence that it can find early detection at before 3 weeks and that’s why it’s not offered as tests like the standard antibody tests at 6 weeks onwards?
Thank you for your post and apologies for the delayed reply. Here are your answers:
1.) The PCR Multiplex is a PCR RNA test for HIV-1, HIV-2, Hep B and Hep C. The answer is yes, it is a PCR RNA.
2.) The reliability of 99% is at 7-10 days and this increases with time. We could say that he was right, indeed.
3.) I do not know why. I believe it is probably because it is not universally used and it is quite expensive. However it is routinely used in the UK by the blood transfusion service to screen blood that is going to be transfused. Different guidelines apply in different countries. This test is used by many clinics in the UK and even though it is still not considered fully conclusive and we recommend a follow-up test with a Duo at 4 weeks, it is highly sensitive and reliable. We have never had a single case of a patient testing negative at 10 days, testing positive later on. TDL is probably the best private pathology lab in the UK.
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