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Had unprotected vaginal intercourse. Negative for HIV DNA by PCR tests. Suggestion?

Answered by
Dr. Srikanth Reddy


Practicing since :2007

Answered : 2770 Questions

Posted on Mon, 21 Jan 2013 in Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Question: I had unprotected vaginal intercourse with a female that I met at a bar. Out of anxiety, i was tested through LabCorp, using the HIV DNA by PCR tests at nearly 80 hrs past the unsafe event. I spoke with the counselors at the testing lab and they all said that the results, which were negative, are extremely accurate and reliable at this time bc the tests pick up detection as early as 48 hours. They say that I am fine and I have also heard from other doctors that their information was accurate. Your thoughts?
Answered by Dr. Srikanth Reddy 2 hours later
Thanks for using health care magic for posting your query.

PCR is a very accurate way of detecting an HIV infection. It detects the Viral proteins rather than antibody response, making it more reliable, specific and capable of early diagnosis as it doesn't wait for the immune response to develop. It can detect an infection even in its window period.

According to the recent literature it can detect 96-98% of the cases when done within a month. Now that’s a fair figure. The only problem is that you got the test done in 80 hrs after exposure. Although it's good enough to detect an early infection, it will be more reliable at the end of 1 month of exposure. For a disease like HIV I hope you won't mind getting rechecked at the end of one month.

Further you should take care not to indulge in such risky sexual acts in future. I hope you understand the risks involved.

Hope I have answered your query. I will be more than happy to help you if you need any further clarifications.

In case you don’t need any further clarifications, you can close the discussion and rate the answer.
Wish you a good health!

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Shanthi.E
Follow up: Dr. Srikanth Reddy 35 minutes later
So is my negative result useless ay 80 hrs? Or is it a good indicator of my final results? Why would the counselor tell me it was very reliable and accurate?
Answered by Dr. Srikanth Reddy 11 minutes later
Thanks for your follow up question.

As you rightly said, your negative result at 80 hrs is a good indicator of your final results. Probably your counselor might have meant to say that 96-98% there is no chance of your having contracted the infection. That is fair enough to be reliable and accurate. But then your life is more precious than to ignore the 2% value.

With a negative result you can stay assured that your final results will also come negative but on the safe side get a test done at the end of one month as well.

Hope I have answered your query. I will be more than happy to help you if you need any further clarifications.

Wish you a good health!

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Shanthi.E

The User accepted the expert's answer

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