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RNA Test

Questions regarding testing...

I was told by the clinic that a HIV RNA test at 8-9 weeks post exposure would be 99% accurate. More I read online, I'm seeing that if antibody's are developed your viral load would be low. Is the RNA test more effective at 3-4 weeks?

I don't understand how this works.

Received a negative 3rd generation antibody test a few days ago. Wondering how these tests work together.
13 Responses
Avatar universal
You can take PCR test after 15 days post exposure . 4th generation ab/ag test is okay for 21 days.
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Avatar universal
My question is more along validity of these tests. One clinic said after 8 weeks the RNA test would be 99% accurate. Another clinic said RNA test is only valid 2-3 weeks post exposure, and at 8 weeks would be no more valid than an antibody test. Just conflicting and looking for insight.
Avatar universal
When looking into HIV-1 RNA testing I found this note from two of my local labs. Can you help clarify what this means?

A “detected” result supports the diagnosis of HIV-1 infection. A “detected” result in combination with a "negative antibody test result" is consistent with acute or primary infection.

As you know my 8 week antibody test was negative. If I tested "detected" with an HIV-1 RNA, what exactly would that mean?
Avatar universal
I really do not know why you haven't got an excessive posting warning yet. We have answered your questions to the fullest extent. You have been informed by not only us, but also at POZ, that HIV is not a concern for you. It's time to lose the drama and move on.
Avatar universal
James my question here is strictly about the note that my clinic posted above. I'm just trying to clarify what that means. Like would that be a sign of taking an antibody test too soon or what?
Avatar universal
If would mean they found virus particles of HIV-1. However, a reactive result is not something you should worry about. We're not discussing this any further.
370181 tn?1595629445
As much as I'm sure we'd all love to help you out in your quest for knowledge of HIV testing and the various protocols of those tests, we unfortunately don't have the time. This is a VERY busy forum and your questions and concerns about your personal status have been asked and answered.

For further in depth information, you could try calling the NIH (National Institute of Health)

The information on reaching the toll free number for the NIH is listed below. I wish you the best of luck in your search and hope they can help you.

National Institutes of Health (NIH)
For information on…

AIDS/HIV Treatment, Prevention and Research 800-HIV-0440*
Avatar universal
Just checking in regarding my low/no risk situation. I know you've assessed my situation into the ground, but I think keeping a status update might be helpful for others who are concerned/don't take direction too well. I've seen the term "worry-wells" tossed around.

Since my initial post in this forum I've taken 4 tests, all of which came back NEGATIVE. Despite all of my symptoms, stress, anxiety, and fear... I still don't have HIV.

4/24/15: Condom Protected Vaginal Intercourse with Sex Worker
05/10/15: Symptoms Start - Upset Stomach, Nausea, Diarrhea, Fatigue.
05/27/15: Googling Symptoms Sparks HIV Anxiety
05/28/15: Doctor Orders Routine Complete Blood Work (CBC)
06/01/15: All Symptoms Stop - Resume Exercise and Normal Diet
06/15/15: CBC Shows Low White Blood Cell Count (0.1 Below Normal)
06/16/15: Googling Low White Blood Cell Count Resumes HIV Anxiety
06/17/15: 3rd Generation Antibody Blood Test - Negative (Day 54)
06/22/15: HIV-1 RNA Qualitative Test - Negative (Day 59)
06/23/15: 3rd Generation Antibody Blood Test - Negative (Day 60)
07/06/15: OraQuick In-Home HIV Swab Test - Negative (Day 73)

At this point... I should give it up. However I cheated on someone very important to me. It's clear I developed a ton of guilt and shame around the situation, however it's becoming clearer and clearer with every test. Guilt and Shame do NOT equal HIV, and neither do symptoms. I will be testing again at 12 weeks, just for the CDC gold seal of approval. Doing so with more confidence.
Avatar universal
Good luck with future testing and we'll  be here when you tell us your negative results.
Avatar universal
Thanks James. I'm waiting for 12 weeks, and I'm going with my girlfriend so we can get tested together. I've opened up to her about what happened and we've established it's important to test together and be on the same page.

I think it's easy to get anxious talk yourself into being one of those 1%-3% people that doesn't test positive in the window, etc. However, one thing is certain, there aren't two of those people dating by complete chance. Think OUR negative tests should bring me some much needed peace of mind.

Thank you for taking the time to listen to me and even be hard on me. I've really had a hard time navigating my way through this. With so much information online, and my doctor not knowing a damn thing about HIV, this has been very hard.

What I was told and I found comfort in, not sure if you share the idea. When I took my Day 59 and Day 60 negative tests, the guy at the clinic said...

"The chances of having a false negative test due to test failure, etc. is less than 1%. The chances of two tests failing at the same time or one after another is next to zero. You don't have HIV."
Avatar universal
I agree with the guy at the clinic.  I'm hoping you can accept your negative status soon and move on with be able to let go of the past.
Avatar universal

Today I took my 5th HIV test. It was an OraQuick In-Home HIV Swab Test - Negative (Day 80)

My last test is scheduled. It will be a 3rd Generation Antibody Blood Test from LabCorp on 07/23/15 (Day 90) and that's the test my girlfriend and I will be doing together.

Been stressing a lot less over the situation. I've finally started to get some sleep which has been really good for my overall health.
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