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Author Topic: Prednisone and HIV Testing  (Read 7796 times)

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Offline soscared1977

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Prednisone and HIV Testing
« on: February 02, 2011, 08:45:54 PM »
Hello everyone, i recently had an exposure and have been going crazy since then.  I believe that my partner somehow removed the condom while we were having intercourse.  I dont know if a person can be this crafty and do it in such a fashion where i would not realize it.  It all went so quick and i have been asking him for the last 9 weeks but i realize i will never get the truth.  Anyway i ended having a mild asthma attack and was prescribed prednisone 12 days post exposure for a dosage of 40mg daily for 5 days.  My question is will this dosage prevent my immune system from producing antibodies and give me a false negative result at my 46 day HIV test?  Aside from the Antibody test i also had an RNA PCR done.  I know i must have a 13 week test done but can i consider the first test a little encouraging?

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Prednisone and HIV Testing
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2011, 08:58:15 PM »
Prednisone will not affect the accuracy of an HIV test.

Assuming you test negative at anytime past 6 weeks then the great likelihood is that you will continue to test negative at 13 weeks for a conclusive result.

Good luck to you.
Andy Velez

Offline soscared1977

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Re: Prednisone and HIV Testing
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2011, 09:06:21 PM »
Andy

I do not want to be repetative but I have read that one willl not produce antibodies due to the prednisone.  Would you consider this a high dose?  Also, given i took the RNA test would that have detected the virus?  You seem to have lots of knowledge in this field.  I am so scared and have not slept well or ate well in the last 9 weeks. Have you ever came across a situation such as mines? Would the prednisone have suppressed my immune system to this point?

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Prednisone and HIV Testing
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2011, 09:17:44 PM »
Andy

I do not want to be repetative but I have read that one willl not produce antibodies due to the prednisone.  Would you consider this a high dose?  Also, given i took the RNA test would that have detected the virus?  You seem to have lots of knowledge in this field.  I am so scared and have not slept well or ate well in the last 9 weeks. Have you ever came across a situation such as mines? Would the prednisone have suppressed my immune system to this point?

This is not correct. Corticosteroids such as prednisolone and prednisone (essentially two forms of the same drug) have no effect on the validity of an HIV antibody test.

Whether or not 40mg is a high dose depends on your body weight. In any event it's irrelevant to this matter.

Don't worry about a PCR-RNA test, just have an antibody test.

MtD

Offline soscared1977

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Re: Prednisone and HIV Testing
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2011, 09:32:28 PM »
Its just i spoke with a HIV specialist who stated that it does delay antibody production but also stated i should test out to 9 months, so i was just looking for other responses.  I know this is not a doctor forum but it seems like the moderators in this forum are educated in this field and i just decided to reach out.  I have dwelled on this situation for more than two months and i just want to come out of this with a clean bill of health.  I have never put myself in this type of situation and the fact that i made sure it was protected then to turn around and feel that he took it off hurts

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Prednisone and HIV Testing
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2011, 09:33:44 PM »
Its just i spoke with a HIV specialist who stated that it does delay antibody production but also stated i should test out to 9 months, so i was just looking for other responses.  I know this is not a doctor forum but it seems like the moderators in this forum are educated in this field and i just decided to reach out.  I have dwelled on this situation for more than two months and i just want to come out of this with a clean bill of health.  I have never put myself in this type of situation and the fact that i made sure it was protected then to turn around and feel that he took it off hurts

An HIV specialist who reckons you should test out to 9 months eh? Because of some prednisone?

Well you should do whatever you think fit. Our advice to you stands.

MtD

Offline soscared1977

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Re: Prednisone and HIV Testing
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2011, 09:38:11 PM »
Not because of the prednisone, just in general. This is something i am not aware of and because of these forums i am learning.  I will continue to pray that everything is okay and will follow up with my 3 month test.  My biggest fear was that my 46 day might have been a false negative due to the prednisone

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Prednisone and HIV Testing
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2011, 09:42:56 PM »
Not because of the prednisone, just in general. This is something i am not aware of and because of these forums i am learning.  I will continue to pray that everything is okay and will follow up with my 3 month test.  My biggest fear was that my 46 day might have been a false negative due to the prednisone

An HIV specialist who recommends testing out to 9 months in general is not an HIV specialist.

The officially accepted window period is 3 months.

MtD

Offline soscared1977

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Re: Prednisone and HIV Testing
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2011, 09:45:25 PM »
I was just stating what he said and to think he is listed as a HIV specialist on the internet.  Thank you for your responses

Offline Ann

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Re: Prednisone and HIV Testing
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2011, 09:48:08 AM »
so,

I could list myself as a brain surgeon on the internet, but that wouldn't make it true.

If your PCR test was also done at day 46 and you were actually infected, it would likely come back with a very high reading. If it came back as undetectable, you're more likely to find a winning multi-million lottery ticket on your doorstep tomorrow morning than you are to end up testing positive over this incident - an incident which you cannot even be sure happened.

I fully expect your three month test to be negative and so should you.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline soscared1977

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Re: Prednisone and HIV Testing
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2011, 06:34:33 PM »
Thanks Ann, I will remain hopeful that it stays that way as well. 

As far as the doctor, i figured because i called the number that likely he would be a actual specialist as listed.  I almost died when he said test out to 9 months because it takes that long to develop in some people.  Not to mention him stating that the prednisone does delay antibodies from producing even in the 5 day course i took at 40mg daily.  Anyway, your response is appreciated.

Offline soscared1977

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Re: Prednisone and HIV Testing
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2011, 09:04:27 PM »
Andy or Ann PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

One more reply as i promise not to ask another question, but how likely is it for someone not to have any viral load at 46 days after new infection?  What is the smallest number of copies a PCR RNA test will pick up  (ex:  10, 30, 50 copies)?  Why do some doctors state that prednisone will prevent antibodies from forming?  Has anyone else in this forum ever come across this problem?  How often will you see a long time non progressor or elite controller that i sometimes read about?  what are the odds? 

I promise i will not return with any more questions, as you can delete the thread if you want

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! 

Offline soscared1977

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Re: Prednisone and HIV Testing
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2011, 09:53:52 PM »
Please Andy answer my question.  I am dying inside and just need answers.  I have watched you help other time and time again so help me.  Please read my last post again and answer and i promise i will not respond again

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Prednisone and HIV Testing
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2011, 09:34:56 AM »
Andy or Ann PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

One more reply as i promise not to ask another question, but how likely is it for someone not to have any viral load at 46 days after new infection?  What is the smallest number of copies a PCR RNA test will pick up  (ex:  10, 30, 50 copies)?  Why do some doctors state that prednisone will prevent antibodies from forming?  Has anyone else in this forum ever come across this problem?  How often will you see a long time non progressor or elite controller that i sometimes read about?  what are the odds?  

I promise i will not return with any more questions, as you can delete the thread if you want

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!  


We're not going to get into "why some doctors state that prednisone" etc. We're only responsible for what we say here and what we say is very carefully considered in terms of HIV science.

The average time to seroconversion is 22 days. A negative result at 6 weeks is a strong indication that a result at 13 weeks will also be negative since all but the very smallest number of those who seroconvert will do so within 4-6 weeks after an exposure. 
« Last Edit: February 05, 2011, 09:39:42 AM by Andy Velez »
Andy Velez

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Prednisone and HIV Testing
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2011, 09:38:25 AM »


I also want to point out that your whole anxiety about HIV is based on a "what if," that is what if your partner removed his condom during intercourse. So we don't even know for sure that you had a genuine risk.

My expectation is that you are going to test negative.

In the meantime you need to make a real effort to focus on other aspects of your life. It will make the waiting time to test much easier. And don't bother saying you're too worried to do that because I can tell you that response won't fly here.

We've told you what we think. Now you just have to wait to get tested.
Andy Velez

Offline soscared1977

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Re: Prednisone and HIV Testing
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2011, 12:47:26 PM »
I never mean to disrespect anyone but these sites were built to help others who are at fear that they have HIV so of course you will get many of the same questions.  Yet it appears that it becomes fustrating to the moderators on their responses.  However my last question in addition to Prednisone and production of antibodies was answered on validility but it clearly stated my concern on would i still produce antibodies while on it for a short time but with a high dosage?  However, the information i am seeking on the RNA PCR has not been answered.  Whether or not you believe in this test is fine but it shouldnt stop you from answering my question.  Whats nonsense to you might mean a whole lot to me.  You guys do a hell of job helping people in this forum but one person might be okay with one answer while another might need more of an explanation.  Again i am sorry to bother any of you as this is the impression i get.


Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Prednisone and HIV Testing
« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2011, 01:15:50 PM »
I never mean to disrespect anyone but these sites were built to help others who are at fear that they have HIV so of course you will get many of the same questions.  Yet it appears that it becomes fustrating to the moderators on their responses.  However my last question in addition to Prednisone and production of antibodies was answered on validility but it clearly stated my concern on would i still produce antibodies while on it for a short time but with a high dosage?  However, the information i am seeking on the RNA PCR has not been answered.  Whether or not you believe in this test is fine but it shouldnt stop you from answering my question.  Whats nonsense to you might mean a whole lot to me.  You guys do a hell of job helping people in this forum but one person might be okay with one answer while another might need more of an explanation.  Again i am sorry to bother any of you as this is the impression i get.


An PCR-RNA test will have to be confirmed by an antibody test no matter what the result. The only approved test for HIV diagnosis is an antibody test.

You will have to have an antibody test. Get it?

MtD

Offline soscared1977

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Re: Prednisone and HIV Testing
« Reply #17 on: February 05, 2011, 02:09:05 PM »
I did have an antibody test along with the RNA PCR but it was before 3 months (46 days).  Thats why i am asking how many copies would the RNA test pick up (i have read 10 copies but then again 50 copies).  I guess given the fact that i am stressing over the part that prednisone will have prevented me from producing antibodies as stated by some doctors, i keep searching for more definitive answers.  MY APOLOGIES.

I will take what Andy stated as far as carefully answering questions based on HIV Science and pray that his answer is correct to where the medicine will not delay me from producing antibodies 

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Prednisone and HIV Testing
« Reply #18 on: February 05, 2011, 02:12:29 PM »
I did have an antibody test along with the RNA PCR but it was before 3 months (46 days).  Thats why i am asking how many copies would the RNA test pick up (i have read 10 copies but then again 50 copies).  I guess given the fact that i am stressing over the part that prednisone will have prevented me from producing antibodies as stated by some doctors, i keep searching for more definitive answers.  MY APOLOGIES.

I will take what Andy stated as far as carefully answering questions based on HIV Science and pray that his answer is correct to where the medicine will not delay me from producing antibodies 

Well whatever. A 46 day negative test result indicates that you will almost certainly test negative at 90 days.

We've tried to explain to you that your prednisone treatment won't affect the outcome of the test, but you seem to have convinced yourself it does.

MtD

Offline Ann

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    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Prednisone and HIV Testing
« Reply #19 on: February 05, 2011, 02:51:28 PM »
So,

Most people who have actually been infected would likely have a 46 day PCR RNA test return with anywhere from 50,000 (give or take a few tens of thousands) to over 100,000 copies. As for your question over what would happen in the case of a LTNP, I believe they would still have a high amount of copies that early in their infection. But regardless, ANY PCR result MUST be confirmed with both an antibody and a Western Blot test.

I can't find one shred of evidence that a mere five days on prednisone would have any effect on your antibody production and certainly not a long-term effect on antibody production. Long-term, ongoing prednisone use could, but not five days.

And given the fact that you're only basing your assumptions of infection on a "what if" scenario, you need to chill out before you get yourself a time out. Enough is enough already.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline soscared1977

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Re: Prednisone and HIV Testing
« Reply #20 on: February 06, 2011, 10:02:19 AM »
Ann:

I will not continue with this thread any longer. Your last response has given me a better understanding and i do appreciate it.  The others who answered did not explain fully and thats why i continued to ask the same questions. I am sure a great amount of research is done before you respond and with thousands of questions it can be quite difficult to dwell on ones questions too much.  I respect the job this forum does and hope you continue to help others in need.  Although you have nothing to do with other forums, its just that i read on the body.com where Dr. Bob states prednisone delays antibodies and wanted other opinions so i reached out further.  I will follow up with a  3 month test as that time is approaching.  Thanks for your patience. 

Offline soscared1977

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Re: Prednisone and HIV Testing
« Reply #21 on: March 05, 2011, 07:01:50 PM »
Well i am taking my final test this coming week but i am so afraid of the news i am going to here.  I know you might be bothered by this post but i was browsing "THE BODY" and came across this post and it totally freaked me out as stated by the Doctor:

"That is, we can't really say 20 mg of prednisone will have absolutely no effect on antibody production, but 25 or 30 mg will invalidate an HIV test. The immune system's ability to make specific antibodies is a highly complex process. Corticosteroids are immunosuppressants that can dampen down multiple aspects of the immune response, including specific antibody production."

The response i got here was different and i am just wondering is this scientifically proven and has it been heard of before or is it in theory.  Maybe there is a medical website which details this topic more.  Either way i will finalize my results and will not post again until i know my results but an answer will be appreciated>

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Prednisone and HIV Testing
« Reply #22 on: March 05, 2011, 10:37:25 PM »
I'm not interested in what you are picking up from The Body.

In the end you will get your answer when you test shortly and I do expect you to test negative.

Good luck and keep us posted.
Andy Velez

Offline soscared1977

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Re: Prednisone and HIV Testing
« Reply #23 on: March 06, 2011, 12:47:51 PM »
Sorry if i upset you but i am just wondering if you have heard the same.  It is a simple question.  Where can i read more on this topic.  Gee whiz, i thought this was the reason for the forum.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Prednisone and HIV Testing
« Reply #24 on: March 06, 2011, 01:39:44 PM »
You didn't upset me. We both know you are going to get tested shortly and I do expect you to test negative.

In my experience it is not helpful to go surfing for more so-called information. You have to live with some uncertainty for a little more time and then I do expect you're going to come out of this ok. Nothing you are going to find on the net is going to give you the answer you want.

While you're waiting it's good to focus on other things in your life. The time will pass more quickly than you may imagine is possible. We've told you what we think based on knowledge and experience.

Good luck with your test and keep us posted.
Andy Velez

Offline soscared1977

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Re: Prednisone and HIV Testing
« Reply #25 on: April 02, 2011, 10:06:06 AM »
Well i am back to say that i have tested negative 6 weeks and 4 days and also at 15 weeks 5 days post exposure. The sad part is that i still cannot shake the worry.  Now i am concerned about the whole 6 month thing because of what so many HIV specialists state (That antibodies take up to 6 mths and sometimes longer).  I will not continue to post but the fact is i am still scared.  Just before i end this post, and just to be sure

(1) Can i believe my tests although i dont know the mans status?
(2) Given i went almost 16 weeks, is it safe to say the prednisone had no effect?
(3) Is it possible my next test will be positive? No sex since 11/20/10.
(4) Am i safe to engage in sex with my long term boyfriend of 8 years again?

Thanks again for all your support!

Offline Ann

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Re: Prednisone and HIV Testing
« Reply #26 on: April 02, 2011, 10:46:52 AM »
so,

1. You are hiv negative. Believe it.

2. We've repeatedly told you it would have no effect.

3. No. You are hiv negative.

4. As long as he has also tested hiv negative, yes.



If you read the Welcome Thread before posting like you're supposed to, you will have read the following posting guideline:

Quote

Anyone who continues to post excessively, questioning a conclusive negative result or no-risk situation, will be subject to a four week Time Out (a temporary ban from the Forums). If you continue to post excessively after one Time Out, you may be given a second Time Out which will last eight weeks. There is no third Time Out - it is a permanent ban. The purpose of a Time Out is to encourage you to seek the face-to-face help we cannot provide on this forum.


Please consider yourself warned!

Ann

Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

 


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