HIV - Prevention Expert Forum
PEP and Hiv testing accuracy
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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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PEP and Hiv testing accuracy

I had a potential exposure approximately 6 months ago after having unprotected oral sex (i recieved oral sex from a female).  I didn't think too much about it until recently when i had unprotected sex with a female of unkown status.  I've learned my lesson and won't engage in these types of practices anymore.  However after this second event my doctor prescribed me a PEP (combivir).  I had taken it for two days when i decided to get tested (rapid hiv test) because of the possible exposure 6 months ago.  The test came back negative, but i'm wondering if having taken the PEP medication for two days could have resulted in a false negative.  I plan on getting tested again in 6 weeks because of the 2nd, most recent exposure, but i would like to know if the test i just took was accurate for my exposure of 6 months ago.  Thank you for your response doctor.
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Welcome to our Forum.  The risk of getting HIV from oral sex, in the unlikely situation that your partner was HIV infected is very, very low. Here is a copy of a comment regarding oral sex and HIV that I have made to another person on the Forum- "The quoted figure for HIV risk, if one has oral sex with an infected partner is less than 1 in 10,000 and, in my estimation that is too high. Some experts state there is no risk at all from oral sex.  Neither of us on this site have ever seen or reading the medical literature of a convincing instance in which HIV was passed by oral sex. "

If you were my patient, I would not have given you PEP following oral sex and may not have given it to you following heterosexual genital sex with a partner of unknown status that is not your question and I acknowledge that you don’t mention why you may have needed PEP).  I am not trying to "shoot the messenger" here but PEP is expensive and the medications have a number of side effects.  For doctors to just give PEP without making a commitment or arrangements for follow-up is, in my estimation, unprofessional.

Getting back to your question however, recent PEP would have had no effect on your risk for seroconversion from the earlier exposure, had it been risky.  I hope this is helpful information for you.  EWH
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Thank you for your response doctore.  I'm sorry, i didn't quite understand the response.  Is there any chance of a false negative for the exposure of 6 months ago because of beginning a PEP 2 days prior to the test?
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No, there is not.  Your PEP would have had no effect.  EWH
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Thank you!
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
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