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Does anabolic steroids affect HIV test result?

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Posted on Fri, 20 Mar 2015
Question: Hi doctor i asked last week if anabolic steroids could affect a hiv test result . I was taking stanazonol in 2010 which i read can increase your heomoglobin levels . My question is would your levels drop back to normal after 2 and a half years later. I ask this because the company i took the test with states you may get a false negative if you have raised heomoglobin levels .
doctor
Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (38 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
No it won't interfere with testing

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

stanozolol won't interfere with HIV testing.
When the hematocrit is increased for any reason, it will remain high as long as the factor is still in effect. Two years after stopping the stanazolol are enough for the hematocrit to adjust to normality.

There are some tests that will show false negatives when the hemoglobin level is high although I can't say "how high". Perhaps another company's kit can be tried that won't have this inconvenient limitation. Negative results are usually a matter of timing. Testing too early will give negative results even if infection has occurred.

If you're using a home kit (which I suspect is the case) then checking for p24 and HIV antibodies in a lab will give you a more accurate result.

I hope you find my answer helpful.
You can ask for clarifications, if you'd like. I'll be glad to answer.

Kind Regards!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (6 minutes later)
Hi thanks i stopped taking stanazonol in august 2010, i used a insti hiv 1-2 rapid test . I first tested negative in XXXXXXX 2013 from a risk in the january 2013 . I tested again november 2014 and febuary 2015 all negative with the same test . Would it be safe to say my levels would of retirned to normal during these trsting limits .
doctor
Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (3 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Yes. And no need to worry.

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

yes. As I've said in my previous answer, two years is a long time after you've stopped taking the drug. Your hemoglobin is certainly back to normal, unless impaired for reasons other than the drug. After having done so many tests (all negative) there is absolutely no need to worry.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (3 minutes later)
Thank you so the levels would have returned to normal. How long on average would it take for the levels to return to normal after stopping , just incase my dates are slightly out . Thanks
doctor
Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (4 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
I can't give you an exact value

Detailed Answer:
Hi again,

I can't tell you exactly how long it would take. But I can give you an approximation. Red blood cells live (at most) for 120 days, so it's safe enough to assume that the "booster effect" will cease after that time. Even if it would take a little more, 2 years is very long time.

As I've already suggested you can check with a laboratory for p24/HIV antibodies. Lab tests don't have the limitations of a home kit and are more accurate.

Be certain though that the tests will be negative! There is no need to worry.

Kind Regards!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (4 minutes later)
Thank you so approx 4 months for normality. That has helped me . I was under the impression p24 antigen can only be tested within the first few weeks and after become undetectable. Thats why i used the insti finger prick rapid hiv 1-2 test . This is a antibody test . Would you think this will be ok due to how many negatives. Thanks
doctor
Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (8 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
The p24 tests is good right after the incident

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

you're correct about p24. p24 testing helps detect HIV infection earlier than the antibodies. After the antibodies develop, p24 is not yet detectable until late in the course of the infection. But checking p24 again may be safer just in case another incident happened later. The old incident is "covered" by the antibody test alone.

I hope it's more clear now!

Kind Regards!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
Answered by
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Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1999

Answered : 3801 Questions

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Does anabolic steroids affect HIV test result?

Brief Answer: No it won't interfere with testing Detailed Answer: Hello, stanozolol won't interfere with HIV testing. When the hematocrit is increased for any reason, it will remain high as long as the factor is still in effect. Two years after stopping the stanazolol are enough for the hematocrit to adjust to normality. There are some tests that will show false negatives when the hemoglobin level is high although I can't say "how high". Perhaps another company's kit can be tried that won't have this inconvenient limitation. Negative results are usually a matter of timing. Testing too early will give negative results even if infection has occurred. If you're using a home kit (which I suspect is the case) then checking for p24 and HIV antibodies in a lab will give you a more accurate result. I hope you find my answer helpful. You can ask for clarifications, if you'd like. I'll be glad to answer. Kind Regards!