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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Is HIV RNA quantitative test done 12 days after unprotected intercourse conclusive?

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Dr. S. Murugan

HIV AIDS Specialist

Practicing since :1974

Answered : 2801 Questions

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Posted on Fri, 16 Oct 2015 in HIV and AIDS
Question: I took a HIV RNA Qualitative test 12 days after unprotected sex. The test came back negative. Is that considered conclusive? Should I still be worried. It is now 16 days since the incident.
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Answered by Dr. S. Murugan 6 hours later
Brief Answer:
HIV RNA PCR would be more conclusive by 3-4 weeks after the exposure.

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Welcome to HCM.
Thanks for posting your query.

Antigen based drugs can detect the presence of disease as early as a week after the exposure in the presence of an infection. But these tests considered as more conclusive 3-4 weeks after the exposure.
Most of these antigen based tests including the HIV RNA PCR Test can detect or rule out only the HIV 1 infection unless it is specified for HIIV 2 also. At the same time HIV 1 infection only very common more than 99% except in certain pockets of west XXXXXXX HIV 2 is very rare and the prevalence is less than 1% in the rest of the world.
If you want to rule out both you can opt for any Rapid test or ELISA or 4th generation test preferably after 12 weeks following the exposure (window period).
Till then abstain from sex or stick to protected sex.
Dr S.Murugan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. S. Murugan 20 minutes later
This was a DNA test not a antigen test where the blood was tested for the virus itself. What is the time frame for the DNA based test?
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Answered by Dr. S. Murugan 12 minutes later
Brief Answer:
These test results can be taken as conclusive by 4 weeks.

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Welcome back.

There are different types of antigen based tests for detecting HIV infection from, P24 antigen test, DNA PCR, RNA Qualitative PCR etc. All these tests are said to be more conclusive by 4 weeks beyond any doubt (to rule out false negative) even though they are sensitive from the 1st week of the infection on wards. You had mentioned that you had been tested with RNA PCR qualitative test.
Dr S.Murugan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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