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HIV testing and Hepatitis C

In early December 2005, I was potentially exposed to HIV.  I had receptive unprotected vaginal sex 3-4 times and briefly was penetrated anally, once and only for a few minutes.  NONE of these instances included ejaculation, and just a few days short of the 10 week mark, I was tested with a rapid HIV test.  I was negative for HIV and syphilis.  About a week and half prior to the test, I came down with a fever, mild body ache and a runny nose.  It only lasted 4-5 days and many other people I knew had similar symptoms (peak of cold/flu season), so it caused me little worry.  However, the person whom I engaged in these acts with told me that just under 4 years ago, he slept with a girl who was known to be HIV infected.  He confirmed this because, according to him, she called him up over two years later and asked for a ride, which turned out to be to pick up meds for her HIV.  Soon after this, he was put in jail for some parole violation and was offered a HIV screening.  He told me that the doctor told him that he'd only hear back from the med staff if something turned up on the test, but if he wanted to test again, to do it once more in six months.  This sounded odd to me, but he said no one contacted him, so he once again took another test in six months. No word back.  When I was tested, I asked the lady giving me the test if that was common procedure in a jail and she said it was very common for it to be administered that way due to the large amount of tests being given.  The man I was with was confident that he was free of STDs and seemed confused with my upset nature after learning all of this AFTER all had been done.  

I do apologize for rambling on so long, but there is one more odd detail to my story.  My mother, who has had failing health due to uncontrolled diabetes, many surgeries for tumors, hernias and years of morbid obesity... was recently diagnosed with Hepatitis C.  The doctors think she probably got it a long while ago and it was just dormant.  When I was born, she had a C-section.  I've been told and read that this can greatly reduce the risk of Hep C being given to a baby, while the chance itself remains low at 1-10% (the risk being further reduced if mother is HIV-).  When I was little, I remember getting poked by a diabetes lancet of my mother's, though I don't ever remember a used one drawing blood from me.  If anything, it just barely poked my skin.  This also is supposedly somewhat difficult to contract hep C from (0-7% chance in healthcare workers, or so I've read) if it's a one time occurence.  Finally, (so sorry for the length) I wanted to know what you think the chances are of my HIV test results being somehow delayed or incorrect due to a possible hep c infection.  If I did in fact have hep c, is there a strong chance that it could delay the seroconversion of HIV?  Thank you so much.
4 Responses
239123 tn?1267647614
Neither hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection nor any other medical condition delays HIV seroconversion or otherwise makes HIV testing any less reliable than normal, with the possible exception of profound immunodeficiency due to advanced cancer, potent chemotherapy, and the like--and probably not even those.

You should be tested for HCV infection.  But the result, whether positive or negative, is irrelevant to your HIV test results.

Best wishes--  HHH, MD
Avatar universal
Thank you for your prompt reply.  I assume by your lack of persuasion for another HIV test that you consider my first test to be adequate enough to feel safe, correct?
Avatar universal
If you tested negative at the 10 week mark, then you can rely on those results and feel confident that you don't have HIV.
Avatar universal
Negative at 4 weeks (no matter what the generation of the assay is) is conclusive. 10 weeks is more than enough. Don't worry. Sleep well.
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