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Possible high risk and testing questions
rich30 posted:
I had a possible high risk sexual encounter. I'm not sure if the condom was used properly. I am assuming it was not

I was tested for HIV at 14 days with a rapid test, at approx. 4 weeks with an RNA and Antibody test and again at 34 days with another RNA and 4th Gen test. All of these were negative.

I have so many questions about the RNA, I see so much back and forth online. If I was someone whos body kept it under control would these still be somewhat reliable? Is the only problem with RNA which makes them not good for diagnosing that they are expensive and give false positives? With that said, should I just take the neg RNA twice and accept it? If they look for the virus and not antibodies or antigens, what are the chances of it not finding enough virus at 4-5 weeks? What are the chances of false negatives?

I have had antibody tests before so I know the two weeks was too early, but at a month and at 5 weeks should I feel good? That is including the antigen. I mean like I said, I had an antibody test before which was negative at a month only for me to find out later on that I tested too soon. Are HIV antibodies more aggressive than others and show up faster?

What are the chances that I am (I think this is right) an elite controller? Would any of these tests still give me an accurate result?

I know 3 months is almost 100% and 6 months is the same if not 100%, but based on these should I still be worried? Is there any chance that I should still be in doubt?

I am very worried about this. I have been having trouble sleeping, I have lost like 10lbs and such and just do not even feel like eating half the time. I am not sure if it is tied to it somehow or not...

Please if you respond do not just say wait and test in 3 months, please give information and whatnot that is useful.

Thank you
georgiagail responded:
A test taken at four weeks is considered to be 95 percent accurate; that is, 95 percent of newly infected individuals would have enough antibodies present to be picked up by current testing methods.

By 3 months this has increased to 99.99 percent. The only folks who may have to test until six months would be those whose immune systems have already been damaged by other significant medical issues (for example, someone who has recently undergone chemotherapy or someone with an organ transplant who is on immune suppressing medication).

Thus, a five week test would fall somewhere between a 95 and 99.99 percent accuracy rate and would be an excellent indication of your negative status. While the recommendation is for a 3 month test just to "cover all bases" it is HIGHLY unlikely that one would test negative at 5 weeks and positive at 12.

It is quite likely that your worry and your trouble sleeping are the real reasons for your poor appetite and your weight loss and NOT because you are HIV positive.

Why are you assuming the condom used in the sexual encounter was not used properly?


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