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Validity of HIV test while on Testosterone Replacement Therapy


Dear Doctor,

I would like to ask you if testosterone replacement therapy is considered immunosuppresive enough to give a false negative result on an HIV test- taken 8 weeks after a potential HIV sexual esposure? I'm currently taking  125cc per week/injectable (testosterone enanthate) and want to know if I can trust the results of what will hopefully be a negative HIV test results- when taken 8 weeks after a potetial exposure. Would the testosterone replacement therapy (I've been on it for 10 months) alter the results of my HIV test at all?

Thanks,

Adnelps

9 Responses
239123 tn?1267647614
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Wlecome to the forum.

We have made the point many times on this forum:  there are no medicines that alter the reliability of HIV test results.  There are theoretical reasons to believe it could be a problem with very potent immunosuppressive drugs and big-league chemotherapy, and for very debilitating illnesses, like terminal cancer -- but even for these, to my knowledge there are no reported instances of it actually happening.

As far as testosterone is concerned, it is not at all an immunosuppressive drug.  Second, you are taking replacement doses -- that is, your blood testosterone level should be no higher than it is in normal men.

In other words, your negative HIV test at 8 weeks is completely reliable.

By the way, if you had read the Disclaimer - Please Read message at the top of the forum, and heeded to advice to search other threads for similar questions, you could have found these same answers -- if not for testosterone itself, then the general comments that would have settled your concern.  We like people to save their posting fee if they don't really need to spend it!  This isn't intended to lecture you, but to point it out to other readers who might be thinking of asking their own questions.

Regards--  HHH, MD
Avatar universal
Thank you for your answer. I have read similar threads on this and other forums but there were/is contradictory information about different medications and HIV test results. I just wanted to make sure by asking you. Anyway... thanks for your answer, it was very helpful!
239123 tn?1267647614
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
You're welcome. Take care.
Avatar universal
Dr. Handsfield,

Sorry to ask another question but I have been searching both of your forums for some information about contracting herpes when giving oral sex and I cant quite find an answer that fits my situation. In the past 6 months I have given and received oral sex with/to  4 different men. One time with each. It was stupid, I know,  because I do not know their HIV/HSV/STD status. It has been about 9 weeks since my last encounter and I have had no blisters,lessions or anything that might indicate a herpes outbreak (my neck area sometimes gets red- though I dont think thats a rash I think its from the horrible anxiety that I have been feeling for the past 9 weeks). I keep reading, however, that many people have HSV1 or HSV2 and don't even know it because they pose no symptoms and that these people can transmit the virus by shedding. My question is, how much of a risk, of HSV1 and HSV2, do you think I put myself under by giving oral sex, when none of the men I was with had any visible lesions or blisters on their penis?

Thanks for everything!
239123 tn?1267647614
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
It is hard to believe you had trouble finding discussions of HSV transmission by oral sex on the STD forum.  It is a very common topic.

The risk of HSV-2 from oral sex is virtually zero. The risk of HSV-1 is higher but still not especially likely.  If you're nervouse, talk to your doctor about being tested for either or both viruses.

It is disturbing that you are having sex with other men without first asking about their HIV status and discussing yours.  That's really dumb; you should never, ever do that.  In the long run, exchanging HIV information and avoiding sex with known positives is just as important in HIV prevention as are condoms for anal sex.  Fail to do it and it's a good bet HIV is in your future.  Please get in the "do ask, do tell" habit.

That's all for this thread.  I won't have any more comments or advice.
Avatar universal
Hello Doctor,

I know what I did was really dumb. I think it was due to my inexperience. I have been monogamous for 14 years and this was what I guess you can call a midlife issue. If I come out of this situation without any long-term consequences like HIV or HSV you can bet that HIV will NOT be in my future. I've never been promiscuous and this was just a one time aberration in my life; one that has caused me a great deal of anxiety and grief over the past 9 weeks. I will tell you, however, that If by chance I were to date again I would certainly follow the "do ask do tell" rule- I cant't believe I didn't do that to begin with!

As always.... thank you for your response.  It is always a bit admonishing but very helpful nonetheless!

Thanks!
Avatar universal
As you suggested I was tested for both HIV and HSV-1 & HSV-2 eight weeks after my possible date of exposure and the results for all tests were negative. You mentioned that the HIV test at 8 weeks were reliable. I would like to know, however, if you think I need another HSV-1 & HSV-2 test, further down the line, to confirm my 8 week negative results. Should I consider my negative test results (Herpe Select) conclusive, since I have not had any outbreaks or Herpes symptoms of any kind ?
239123 tn?1267647614
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
You misinterpreted my remarks; I did not suggest HSV testing, which is rarely necessary after single sexual exposures (unless the partner is known to be infected or if the exposed person gets symptoms of herpes).  I suggested only that you discuss it with your provider, who I expected would agree with me that no testing was necessary. For the reasons I said above, it was a waste of money to be tested at all for HSV-2, which is never acquired by oral sex.  In any case, your current result can be considered definitive and you do not need further testing.

You need to accept the reassurance I gave you and work to get beyond your fears of bad outcomes from the low risk exposure you describe above.  That's all for this thread, please.
Avatar universal
Hello Doctor,

Thank you for the reassurance- it's all I needed to get beyond my fears/concerns. This will definitely be all for this thread.

Thank you again!  

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