HIV - International Expert Forum
PCR RNA test question again
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PCR RNA test question again

Dear Dr. Sean,

Hope all is well.

I am unfortunately in a bad situation again. I got very drunk and had at least unprotected oral and protected vaginal sex with a female Russian CSW in Beijing. Due to my inebriation, I am unable to recall if we engaged in unprotected vaginal sex and this has been stuck in my mind, causing considerable anxiety.

In my previous post, you assured me that HIV RNA is detectable in 99% of cases 7 days post exposure. In that post. I mentioned that the PCR RNA test I took had a limit of detection of 100 IU/ml.

I am in contact with the specialist who performed the PCR RNA test for me previously. He has communicated to me that we can now do an even more sensitivite test, with a limit of detection of 66.9IU/ml. The test is called "Viral Loading CE-IVD", if that means anything. With this new test, I am assured that I can do a test 5 days post exposure, and the result will be as conclusive as I need to bother myself with.

1. Do you know of any such tests that can have highly reliable results 5 days post exposure?

2. If so, what do you think is that degree if accuracy for such a PCR RNA test after 5 days? 90% 95% 99%?

3. Broadly, would you recommend testing at all for someone in my situation before I engage in unprotected sex with my long term girlfriend? (Just in terms of HIV risks, not in terms of other STD risks, which i have taken care of, nor psychological anxiety)


Thank you
936016_tn?1332769204
Hello again,

I'm sorry but I don't have any information about the test you have mentioned. My feeling would be though that 5 days is the very bare minimum in terms of testing and I would be much more comfortable at 7 or even better, ten days.

The cut off point - ie 100 copies or 66 copies etc is relatively unimportant. In very early stage HIV infection there is a simply enormous rise in the viral load from zero copies to many millions and this will happen swiftly.

Best wishes, Sean
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