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Avatar universal

Do I need more testing?

Hello,

I’m female. On April 21, I was sexually assaulted. No protection was used. Due to extreme fear, anxiety and stress I have tested for hiv many times throughout the past 6 weeks with the 4th generation duo and RNA PCR (<20 copies). I know this community is supremely informed about hiv testing and would love to get some opinions. Do I need to test anymore or can I put this behind me and accept these as conclusively negative results? Thank you very much for your help.

Here’s my testing history:

5/1: Negative baseline duo

5/2: Negative 10 day RNA PCR

5/7: Negative 15 day duo

5/13: Negative 21 day duo

5/20: Negative 28 day duo

5/23: Negative 31 day duo & RNA PCR

6/5: Negative 43 day duo

4 Responses
Avatar universal
Duo is conclusive after 4 weeks so you should stop testing and move on from hiv. Everyone on this forum uses this 4 week guideline for the duo so you won`t get any different "opinions".
2 Comments
If you are unable to accept the test results then you should consult with your doc or a therapist to see if they can help you stop testing and worrying.
Thank you very much Anxious for your quick reply! I had originally seen the 4 weeks as being largely conclusive but got scared because some sources/people on here say 6. Regardless you are right. I need to put this behind me since I’ve tested outside both windows. Thank you so much again for your advice! I really appreciate it. I will be seeking therapy and a doctor because I’ve had some troublesome symptoms along with the anxiety.
Avatar universal
hiv can`t be diagnosed from symptoms, so if that is what you were thinking then stop googling hiv cold turkey because there is nothing of use there.
1 Comments
You’re right. It’s not productive.
188761 tn?1584567620
COMMUNITY LEADER
Dear Sarah0424, thank you for trusting us enough to tell us what happened to you. I can only imagine how difficult this must have been and continues to be, and I am so sorry you had to go through it. We will try and extend support to you during this very difficult time. I know that you will get through this one day, and I am here to help in any way I can.

I assure you that you have tested conclusively negative.

A. RNA PCR at 10 days was an excellent choice. PCR tests looks for the core viral proteins directly unlike the antibody tests which looks for the immune response to the viral infection.

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has rapidly become one of the most widely used techniques in molecular biology and for good reason, it is a rapid and simple means of producing relatively large numbers of copies of RNA molecules from minute quantities of source RNA material even when the source RNA is of relatively poor quality.

Today, the advance ultra sensitive PCR tests looks for as low as 20 copies of RNA in 1 ml of blood, post contraction of  HIV - the virus replicates rapidly, if you were actually infected the viral count should been substantial for a PCR to pick it up. If a PCR test with sensitivity of 10-50 copies RNA / ml of blood was undetected, you should be rest assured that you weren't infected at the first place.

B. Also, at 15th day the p24 antigen part of your duo test wasn't detected, that was a good indicator. If you did actually get infected and were going through ARS, which takes place between 7-14 days post infection, p24 antigen in most cases would have been at it's peak during that phase. Absence of this protein indicates that you were safe.

C. Your negative antibody and antigen test at 42 days confirmed that you don't have HIV. Since, average time to sero-convert is 21 days for a healthy, normal individual after the exposure. Detectable amount of antibodies would always be shown in the test result after two weeks following sero-conversion. Having said that, a negative at 6 week conclusively rules out HIV infection.

Hope this helps you.
1 Comments
Hey Mike. Thank you so much for your compassion and kindness! It has been hard but the most scary and difficult thing for me was fearing that I contracted hiv. Thank you so much thorough explanation of the science behind these tests. I’m feeling much more at ease now and am going to try to stop testing period so I can move on with my life. It’s just prolonging anxiety and I don’t need anymore of that.
707563 tn?1587576687
Hi Sarah -

If you haven't already connected with your local rape crisis center, you might consider doing so.

You can do so through RAINN - https://www.rainn.org/ They have a chat line and a phone hotline.

If you are outside of the US, we have some resources here - https://www.medhelp.org/general-health/articles/MedHelp-Crisis-Resources/1037

If you need something that isn't listed, please let us know. We'll be happy to help.

Best to you.
3 Comments
Thank you so much Emily for the resources and for your kind words! This community is simply amazing for all the knowledge and resources y’all provide. I’m here in the US and have found a counselor who specializes in trauma and health anxiety. I’m hoping that she’ll be of great help to me so I can get past this mental state.
That's great! Don't underestimate the effects of trauma, and if you already had health anxiety, the trauma may exacerbate that, and any other anxiety you have.

I'm so happy your tests are negative and conclusive. :)

We're here if you need us. I'm the Community Manager here, so feel free to shoot me a private message if you ever need assistance.

Hi Emily,

You’re absolutely right. I had ocd tendencies and health anxiety beforehand so those combined with the incident were a perfect storm for horrible panic. Thank you so much! It’s a HUGE weight off my shoulders. Thank you also for extending your support. That’s so very kind of you and I greatly appreciate it. I will definitely message you if I need assistance. Let me say it again: you and your team are amazing people helping those in need!
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