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HIV-1 RNA test at Labcorp

Dear Doctor, I posted the same question on community forum but I came to know that there are experienced doctors on this site that are available to answer our inquires. I would like to make use of this opportunity to ask few question about rna testing.I recently got tested for HIV by Labcorp's HIV-1 RNA qualitative test early test.
(The exposure was unprotected oral. I have lots of cuts in my body and fear HIV might get through those cuts.)
a. Is this test FDA approved?
b. How accurate is the testing after 15 days of exposure? My exposure was of negligible risk but still a risk is a risk right?
c. The result says it was non reactive and non detectable. But suggested me take another test for HIV-2. Now is HIV -2 another type of virus not detectable by RNA test?
d.What is the difference between qualitative and quantitative test?
e. Is RNA Test a dependable way of finding out one's status.?
Thank you doctor and god bless!!
4 Responses
239123 tn?1267647614
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Welcome to the forum.  Thanks for your question.

As you were told on the community forum, there was no significant risk of HIV from the exposure you mention.  Oral to penile transmission of HIV is rare if it occurs at all.  Cuts in the mouth or elsewhere on the body make no difference.  Without sex involving a penis entering another person's vagina or rectum, HIV testing really isn't necessary or recommended.

That said, a negative HIV RNA PCR at 15 days is nearly 100% reliable in proving you didn't catch HIV.  If you want officially reliable negative results, you should also have an HIV antibody test at 4 weeks.  The combination of those negative results will be conclusive.

a) I assume the test is FDA approved, or a reliable and respected outfit like Labcorp wouldn't offer it.

b,e) The test alone is probably around 99% reliable.  I disagree "a risk is a risk".  As noted above, I would not have recommended testing at all, and certainly not an expensive test like the one you had.  You still need the antibody test at 1 month, so you haven't saved any time to a definitive result.

c) HIV-2 is too rare in the US to be a significant worry.  In any case, the standard antibody tests detect HIV-2 infections, so you'll have that covered if you have that test at 4+ weeks.

d) They are the same test.  Qualitative just looks for presence or absence of RNA.  If positive, the quantitative test (as the name suggests) tells how high or low the virusl level is.

So all is well -- no worries.  If you decide to follow through with an antibody test, you can definitely expect a negative result.

Best wishes--  HHH, MD

Avatar universal
thank you doctor for the assurance. I researched on HIV-2 and found out that only 300+ cases of HIV 2 virus has been registered in US from 1987 and it is found mostly on Western Africa. As for you advice, I wont test again knowing that the RNA qualitative test is very much accurate and one more test would cause more unwanted anxiety in my life.If I had any symptoms related with ARS than the RNA qualitative test would have been positive.My mind has been playing dirty tricks on me and even little irregularities with my heallth like an odd cough or sneeze, little bit rise in temperature but not exceeding 98.6 degree Fahrenheit is making me believe that I have contracted the virus. If this all was HIV related than the test would have picked it up right?Please answer this last question. I will not trouble you again. Thank you for you patience for listening to me. God bless.  
239123 tn?1267647614
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Yes.  If your symptoms were due to HIV, the RNA test definitely would have been positive.  In addition, your symptoms don't even hint at a new HIV infeciotn.  ARS doesn't cause cough, sneeezing, or nasal congestion.  Also, like a lot of people, you apparently assume 98.6 degrees F (37C) is the maximum normal temperature. In fact, it is just the average.  Everybody's temperature varies normally over the course of the day from 96 to 99F or a little higher.

Thanks for the thanks. I'm glad to have helped.
Avatar universal
A related discussion, Hiv RNA qualitative was started.

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