HIV - Prevention Expert Forum
possible exposure. need advice.
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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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possible exposure. need advice.

Trying to get some sort of peace of mind here with my question. Thanks in advance.

To the story, I had sex with a friend of a friend (female) of unkown hiv status. We at first used condoms, but she took it off me after about 20 minutes, after about a minute or two I realized I wanted to use a condom and told her im putting one back on. In the morning i noticed a small cut on my penis from the rough sex. this act was just about 5 weeks ago. I started having symptoms at the 3 week mark with throat discomfort and nausea thats still present, also having minor muscle aches here and there. I did a oraquick test at 1 month with a negative result. Im concerned with these symptoms, and this girl I had sex with traveled in south america for 8 months prior to comming back to the states.

My question how likely is the test to change at 3 months ( I know thats the standard). Would me having symptoms prior to taking the test have made it positive if it was ars? Should I get the dna pcr test to get an answer now so I dont have to wait 2 more months? Thanks
300980_tn?1194933000
Welcome to the Forum.  I'll be pleased to comment.  Your risk from this single, unprotected exposure is low. Most heterosexual women do not have HIV and fewer than 1 in 1000 unprotected exposures to infected partners lead to infection.  I would estimate you mathematical risk for infection at being less than 1 in a million and perhaps far lower.  That said, I do have several suggestions:

1. First, go get tested for other STDs- chlamydia and gonorrhea in particular. they are far more likely than HIV.
2.  You can test now and find out if your sore throat was due to HIV.  If your sore throat was due to HIV, your test would be positive at this time.  Further, now at 5 weeks, if you had gotten HIV from this exposure, there is a more than 90% chance that your test would be positive at this time.  

I am confident that you will find that you did not get HIV from this exposure but testing will give you piece of mind.  I hope this comment is helpful.  EWH
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300980_tn?1194933000
Further, there is no need for a DNA test at this time. Just get the antibody test. the figures I provided above were for antibody testing.  EWH
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Ok thank you for your advice Dr.

So do you think the oraquick I took at 4 weeks would of showed up positive? I had symptoms when I took it. Or are you saying to test again now at 5 weeks with standard antibody? Thank you
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300980_tn?1194933000
If your symptoms were due to HIV, the HIV antibody test would have become positive within a week of when they began.   If you test now and your test is negative, this indicates that your symptoms were not due to HIV.  EWH
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Ok thanks. I went and got blood drawn this morning for the antibody test. at 5 weeks. I still feel horrible horrible symptoms. Hopefully the oraquick was right with the negative result.
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Hey Dr. Hook I got my test results back said value was <1.0, which is negative im assuming. This was the hiv antibody test at 5 weeks give or take a few days. Like I stated before I was having symptoms a week prior to me taking the test.

Just trying to have a little more reassurance, My symptoms are still present now. I feel soo run down with fatigue, loss of appetite throughout the day and slight nausea. I just cant seem to place those kinds of symptoms with any other infection/ disease. You said my results should not change at later dates? Should I go to my primary dr and have blood values done to see if they can see a reduction or heighten in white blood cells?
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Hey dr. I went and got a negative elisa at exactly the 6 week mark, and im STILL having symptoms of nausea, low apatite, and red bumps on both arms. Now my 8 week mark is tomorrow and im soo worried. My gf moved down to live with me and I cant live with this fear right now of possibly infecting her.

My 6 week was negative, how conclusive can you say that was? Even with the symptoms starting at 3 weeks post. Would the amount of hiv entering the blood stream affect how soon you can pick up antibodys? Im going tomorrow for the 8 week. would an oraquick be accurate at that time ( its eaiser and quicker for me to obtain than an elisa). Or should i just do another elisa? Thanks so much for your advice
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300980_tn?1194933000
Your 6 week test would have detected 95% of infections.  I anticipate that your 8 weeks test will be negative as well and am confident that your symptms were not due to HIV.  In your situation the ELISA is the preferred test as the OraQuick very rarely has false negative results at the 8 week time.  

I recommend that, if your symptoms are really troubling you and not just a problem because fo your anxiety, you should have your contiuuing symptoms evaluated by an internal medicine specialist.  EWH
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Ok thanks for replying Dr. I will go get the elisa tomorrow (8 weeks). And Im kinda confused on the statement about the oraquick, do you mean they have high false negatives at 8 weeks or rare false negatives and that would be reliable also? thank you
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300980_tn?1194933000
There are rarely (a few) false negative tests with the Oraquick tests  at 8 weeks.  On the other hand the ELISA results are completely reliable (i.e. not ever a few false negative results) at 8 weeks.  EWH
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Thank you doctor I recieved my negative 8 week elisa today. I'm still feeling horrible from the most unusual symptoms I've ever had all at once. I have a dr appt next week.

Have you ever seen or heard of someone getting a negative 8 weeks out and testing positive later on? Would ars keep lingering on this long? Thank you
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300980_tn?1194933000
No, it would be unheard of your your current symptoms to be due to HIV if you had a negative test 8 weeks after your last exposure.  work with your doctor to find other reason for the symptoms. EWH
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Thank you for commenting Dr. One last question I have. I had been reading some forums about people being late to seroconvert it began to freak me out.

Is there any test I could take right now (8 weeks) that would give me a definate answer? I know you said elisa, but for some reason I just think this is ars symptoms still lingering. Would a Western Blot give me a definate answer to this point, or just waiting to 3 months with elisa be flaw proof? I dont care the price of the test.

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300980_tn?1194933000
We have little space for ongoing interactions. This will be my final response.

The idea of late seroconversion is an outdated idea which persists because of misinformation on the internet.  Your 8 week ELISA IS DEFINITVE.  Further testing is a waste of time and money.  This is not ARS.  Get a grip on yourself.   EWH

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