HIV - Prevention Expert Forum
Methylprednisone/HIV Testing
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This forum is limited to prevention of HIV and to safe sex in general. All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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Methylprednisone/HIV Testing

I had a possible HIV exposure - I was stuck by a needle and it drew blood.  I have reason to think the person that used the needle was HIV positive.  I started taking methylprednisolone 3 days prior to the incident due to a shingles outbreak and took it for 6 days - I took 6,5,4,3,2,1 per day of 4 mg strength.  I took an HIV 3rd generation antibody test at 4 months after the exposure.  Going through the internet, including Dr. Hook, I've read that prednisone may delay the HIV antibody from showing up on the test.  Did I wait long enough - 4 months - to get a conclusive result of negative.  Should I test again at 6 months?  Thank you Dr Hansfield and Dr Hook for your support.
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Welcome to the Forum. You are correct, steroid medications can delay the development of antibodies however the delaying effect resolves once a person stops taking the prednisone.  If you had HIV your brief, six day course might have slightly delayed development of antibodies but not much. Your 4 month test result is completely reliable and should be believed.  There is no reason to worry further about this exposure and no reason for further testing.  EWH
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I was reminded last night that while I was in Italy last fall I cut my finger and went to a pharmacy and they gave me an antibiotic cream and either an antibiotic pill or steroid pill to take.  My test for the HIV antibody was 20 days after this.  Can I still count on the reliability of the HIV Test I took?  Thank You.
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300980_tn?1194933000
Yes, you can still count on the reliability of the tests you took.  EWH
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