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What is PCR test for HIV and AIDS ?

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Dr. Rhea Chanda

OBGYN

Practicing since :2005

Answered : 3163 Questions

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Posted on Thu, 26 Apr 2012 in HIV and AIDS
Question: DEAR MADAM / SIR,

MY QUEIRY IS REGARDING HIV INFECTION.

I HAD A CONDOM BREAK TWICE. FIRST ON 2/5/2011 & SECOND ON 16/5/2011. BOTH TIMES PARTNER HIV STATUS BEING UNKNOWN. ALSO, BOTH TIMES, I REALISED THE CONDOM HAS TORN ON IMMEDIATE BASIS ( I RESPONDED TO THE CONDOM BREAK IN AROUND 2 - 5 SECONDS ). I WITHDREW IMMEDIATELY. THIS HAPPENED BEFORE I EJACULATED. I THEN REPLACED THE CONDOM AND THEN IT WAS OKAY.

NOW IM SCARED LIKED HELL ON POSSIBILITY OF HIV INFECTION. IM HAVING NO PROBLEMS AS SUCH CURRENTLY ON DATE ie 6/5/2011.

I HAD A MAJOR COLD / LEAKING NOSE 2 WEEKS BACK. TOOK NORMAL MEDICATION AND PROPER NOW. I GOT NO FEVER AT ALL.

IM GETTING SINCE LAST 2 DAYS OCCASSIONALY SOME MILD SRACTHING LIKE FEELING HERE AND THERE AROUND THE BODY, BUT NO RASH AS SUCH. NO STOMACH PROBLEMS, NO LOOSE MOTIONS, MO HEADACHES, NO SWELLINGS. NO VOMITTINGS. NO FATIGUE.

IVE BEEN READING A LOT ON THE NET ABOUT HIV AND THINK AM PANICING PSYCOLOGICALLY. I THINK AM HALUCINATING TO HAVING SYMTOMS.
PLEASE TELL ME THE POSSIBILITES OF MALE GETTING INFECTED FROM A CONDOM BREAK. I READ ON THE NET THE CHANGES ARE VERY LESS FOR MALE TO GET INFECTED IN CASE OF A CONDOM BREAK. MAINLY SO, CAUSE THE FLUIDS DONT XXXXXXX MOST OF THE TIMES IN A CONTAT TIME OF A FEW SECONDS.

SECONDLY REGARDING, PCR TEST, I HEARD GIVES POSITIVE RESULTS, EVEN AT TIMES WHEN THE SUBJECT IS NOT INFECTED. PLEASE ADVISE ON THIS ALSO.

PLEASE HELP ME SIR. ALSO, TELL ME BEST TESTS I CAN DO ON DATE TO GET MY INFECTION STATUS.

THANK YOU.
XXXXXXX
doctor
Answered by Dr. Rhea Chanda 31 minutes later
Hello,

Thanks for the query.

First let me mention that HIV infection is transmitted by bodily fluids.If there was no actual transfer of fluids eg,ejaculation then chances of transmission are low.As you have mentioned,the condom was changed before ejaculation.So chances of male getting infected from the female partners' secretions is less than the other way around.
Hiv infection has a window period of 6 weeks to 6 mths.It would be advisable to be tested again after 6 mths in case of exposure.
PCR is a more sensitive test and gives results immediately even within the window period.However,the first screening test is usually advised to be the HIV spot test.If that is positive /inconclusive then further confirmatory tests are done.

Next about the symptoms that you have.The earliest symptoms usually occur as a mild flu like illness but after the window period is over.Your symptoms were almost immediate and probably coincidental.Full blown HIV take several years to set in.

Right now,i would advise you to take HIV spot test immediately.Then repeat the test after 6 months.That should be sufficient to know your HIV status.
I think PCR is an unnecessary expense at this point of time unless you are insistent.
If you are sexually active regular testing is advisable.

Hope I answered your query completely, If any follow ups do feel free to get back to me.
Regards,
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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