HIV Prevention and Testing > Am I Infected?

absolutely stupid

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Andy Velez:
The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and branched DNA (bDNA) assay can measure of HIV RNA in the blood, a measurement called the HIV viral load. They are highly sensitive tests which were never designed for diagnostic purposes. Because of their high sensitivity they can yield false positives.

At 28 days a negative PCR is considered more than merely encouraging, but it is always recommended to confirm that negative with a standard ELISA at 13 weeks. The ELISA is the standard HIV test which is looking for HIV antibodies.

As Morgan has indicated, you should ask your questions in your own thread.



--- Quote from: Morgan on July 24, 2006, 05:51:10 PM ---
Asking a question in someone elses thread is called thread hijacking. 


--- End quote ---

note taken. my appologies

Andy, Thank you for the help.  I did find an interesting ducument detailing a good bit of information on the window period associated with PCR testing.  It is clear that I need to wait the 28 days.  I will also follow the protocol for Elisa follow up testing.  Thanks again.


Did you not read the comment that PCR testing is NOT approved for diagnostic purposes because it has a high rate of FALSE POSITIVES? Imagine how you'd feel if you got one of those. Don't chance doing that to yourself.

You'd be far better off waiting until six weeks and having an ELISA then, as the vast majority of people who have actually been infected will seroconvert and test positive by six weeks. The average time to seroconversion is 22 days.

The odds are in your favour of testing negative after this one-time condomless event.


Thanks Ann.

OK, I was hoping to not fall into the self-diagnosis trap but am well on my way down a slippery slope.  The right side of the front of my neck began to hurt yesterday evening along with my right jaw.  It also feels like my right ear is stuffed up.  Keep in mind that my moment of risk was about 48 hours before these symptoms started and I know that most often the symptoms kick in after about two weeks if at all.  I could probably stub my toe right now and turn it into an HIV symptom in my mind.  Some reassurance from those who know and understand the timelines should would be welcome though.

On another note, the dancer that this occurred with gave me her telephone number and asked me to give her a call so we could go out sometime.  I have considered giving her a call, asking to meet, and trying to broach this topic but feel that I most likely would not be received well at all.  I would offer to pay for all testing and accompany her on the visit to the lab.  On one hand, this seems reasonable, on the other, it seems like I could offend the heck out of her.  This is not her fault and she should not have to carry my burden.  Opinions on this would be great since I have absolutely zero experience with something like this.  Thoughts?


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