Hiv testing explaination: Hello so I recently had... - BASHH


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Hiv testing explaination

jeditroopz profile image

Hello so I recently had possible hiv exposure got tested rna pcr at 11 days and was negative thankfully got tested again at 59 days negative rna and now after starting prep I’m getting tested at my 3 month mark but I had questions regarding these test I understand these rna test can detect the earliest does that mean it will detect even an old exposure aswell if there was an infection? Does anyone know if doctors in California also test for antibodies alongside test like rna ?

1 Reply

I am not sure what you mean by "old exposure " . If someone is exposed to HIV without PEP or PREP it is possible to acquire the infection. If they do, they will be HIV antibody positive - and have HIV. An RNA test - which is expensive and usually only done to try to detect very early infection BEFORE the HIV antibody becomes positive - if negative - means a person is HIV negative at that point in time. . If the issue is clouded by either PEP or PREP use which might mask very early HIV infection ( controlling a viral load or RNA result ) a follow up antibody test and 6 weeks would be useful.

RNA tests at least in the UK are not standard - the test is a combination of P24 antigen and HIV antibody .

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