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Negative Test Results, Still Worried
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Negative Test Results, Still Worried

I had unprotected sex with an acquaintance approximately 23 weeks ago. 17 days later this same person informed me that she had just tested positive for HIV. I was immediately tested and I went to a local Emergency Room and received the following tests:

- Rapid HIV1_2 Antibodies (RESULT: NEGATIVE FOR HIV-1 AND HIV-2 ANTIBODIES)
- HIV 1 RNA PCR QUANT (RESULT: * <1.3)
- HIV RNA BY PCR Interp (RESULT: * NOT DETECTED)
- HIV RNA BY PCR RT (RESULT: *<20)

The doctor told me at the time that if these tests came back negative that it would be incredibly promising, but I should come back for a follow-up at 3 months for definitive test. I had moved since this test was administered and decided to get my follow-up test done at a local Planned Parenthood (ended up at the 4.5 month mark) and my Rapid HIV Test Result administered on site was negative

It was relieving, but the person who administered the test said I needed to come back at the 6 month mark because "It could take up to 6 months for seroconversion"

Recently, I was in touch with a close friend (mutually close friend of the woman) and he informed that her initial diagnosis was wrong, and that she received a false positive as a result of a test false positive or cross contamination. That she had a plethora of tests done and all were negative--the conclusion being that she did not have the virus all along. For some reason, this doesn't completely ease my concerns.

I wanted to get one final test done at the 6 month mark (one week from today) to put any worries behind me, but I'm concerned that I might get a false positive due to a recent Flu/Tdap/Hepatitis A+B vaccination. My question is, given the situation and the tests I've received, am I spinning my wheels here and worrying over nothing? What is the likelihood of a false positive from the vaccinations I mentioned? I guess I'm looking for one final definitive "This is over moment", do I need to chase that and have another Rapid HIV Test done next week?
239123_tn?1267651214
Welcome to the forum and thanks for your question.

I understand your concern, having had sex with someone known to have HIV -- and also understand your possible confusion, since there is a lot of misinformation out there about the time it takes for definitive HIV testing.  However, the bottom line is that your negative test results are 100%, definitive proof you were not infected with HIV.  No further testing is necessary.

Most of the misinformation about reliable testing is either based on older tests or, most commonly, applies ONLY when the only tests done are the HIV antibody tests.  When antibody testing is combined with direct tests for the virus itself -- HIV p24 antigen or RNA/DNA testing by PCR -- negative results are virtually 100% reliable after 4 weeks.  I have explained this in some detail previously so won't repeat it here; instead, read the thread in the link below.

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/show/1704700

In any case, once it became apparent your partner didn't have HIV after all, you really should have stopped all worry at that point.  But even if she really were infected, your tests are definitive proof you didn't catch it.  You don't need another test at 6 months or at any other time.  But if you decide to do it anyway, you needn't worry about false positve results because of routine immunizations.  That doesn't happen.

So all is well.  Do your best to relax and stop worrying about all this.

Best regards--  HHH, MD
3 Comments
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3 months (12 weeks), only, conclusive
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239123_tn?1267651214
Noted.  This makes no difference in my opinion or advice.
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