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Testing

Dear Dr.,

I got a RNA by PCR test by Labcorp done on 11th day after possible exposure, is this test definative as it came back undected?  I am in the U.S. and the CDC says 8-11 days but some doctors state this test is not reliable.

Thanks
2 Responses
936016 tn?1332765604
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Good Morning

You can be safely reassured. The RNA PCR is very reliable indeed at the interval you describe and we use it at around 7 days http://www.freedomhealth.co.uk/sexual-health/hiv-test-hiv-testing-london/125/ for very early screening. The CDC is correct. The other doctors are incorrect in my humble opinion. I would qualify that a little though and say that if you had a very high risk exposure - for example receptive anal sex with a male who was recently diagnosed as a newly infected HIV positive man, then I would repeat that test at 4 weeks with a 4th generation HIV DUO test for certainty. However, in the most part peoples "risk" is much less definite if at all and the RNA PCR is thoroughly appropriate. The New York AIDS institute advocate testing at 7 days with a PCR and also an antibody test because we know that early identification is key to disease control both in terms of onward spread and also minimising adverse effects of the disease process in newly infected individuals. So overall, the answer to your question is yes, your RNA PCR is good.

best regards, Sean
Avatar universal
Thanks for the answer.  Just to clarify, since my possible exposure was with a unknown status women having unprotected intercourse (stupid I know) the RNA PCR test is appropriate and the results reliable.

Thank you for your time.

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