I would like to help, but this forum really isn't the best place for the advice you need. If the ER doc and/or employee health physician you have seen are HIV/AIDS experts, I suggest you follow their advice. Alternatively, seek out such a physician, probably an infectious disease specialist in your community. It would be wiser to follow such a person's advice than that of this forum or any distant expert.
My general sense is to agree with your own analysis that the risk you were infected is very low. In general, it almost never takes as long as 3 months, let alone 6 months, for HIV seroconversion (i.e,, to development of a positive HIV antibody test). However, to my knowledge there are no data on whether PEP might prolong the seroconversion interval -- that is, if PEP fails to work, whether it might take longer for an antibody test to become positive. There also are no data, to my knowledge, on performance of PCR tests during the seroconversion window in the face of PEP.
Certainly I can understand your desire to have a final answer as to whether you acquired HIV without waiting 6 months. My best judgment is that a negative PCR test at 6 weeks, plus a negative antibody test at about that time -- or perhaps out to 3 months -- would be reliable evidence you were not infected. But I don't know that and cannot give you definitive assurance about it. That's a logical probability but no more than that.
Sorry I can't be more helpful. Best wishes-- HHH, MD
Thanks for the answer Dr.,
Just a quick follow up. It seems that on other posts you assure patients who have taken a DNA PCR at 6 weeks or later and have tested negative. that they are HIV negative. In my case you believe the PEP could delay these results? My main concern is the 6 month testing period because I would like to start dating and do not want to scare off potential partners by telling them I am still undergoing HIV testing.
Also, I am not real happy with the employee health department, which is now handling my case. They do not seem real knowledgeable on the subject and it is frustrating to me. They seem to have a manual they follow and are perplexed by my questions. I am going to try to contact an infectious disease doctor at my hospital in the next few days. I am hesitant to meet with them in person though because alot of patients I see in the dental clinic are referred to me from the std clinic in the hospital and I don't want to run into them in that setting.
The first paragraph of your follow-up message simply states your correct understanding of my original reply. The reason for your desire for a resolution earlier than 6 months was also clear in your original question. And I'm sure you understand I can't do anything about the knowledge level of the employee health folks or the clinic arrangements at your hosptial. But most likely the ID doc would understand your concerns and might agree to meet you someplace other than the usual clinic. If not, you might be able to find a different ID specialist at another institution.
Sorry I can't be more helpful, but there's only so much a distant online source can do.