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Author Topic: Is it true that Hiv pep meds effecting your test results is just a myth  (Read 3644 times)

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Offline Robwilliams

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I been hearing this rumor and asked a few hiv counselers about this and they said its completely false. One said that pep only lows concentration in antibodies but has nothing to do with it positive or negative. They said its no documented proof that this happened and never heard somebody testing positive later on cause of pep. Just wanted to know if this is true or just a myth. I also called the pep hotline and they said its just a myth.

On July 31st I had unprotected woman born with hiv 4 or 5 times. 4 days later she confessed she had hiv and I went to the hospital to get pep. We had unprotected vaginal sex. I stopped taking pep on September 9th. I got tested on September 11th and was negative. Should I still be worried and stress? I haven't slept much since this happened. She also told me she undetectable

Offline Jeff G

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Re: Is it true that Hiv pep meds effecting your test results is just a myth
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2013, 12:48:52 PM »
The appropriate time to test post pep is 6 weeks after your last dose and again at 3 months to confirm the results .

If you were not on PEP you can test 6 weeks past exposure and again at 3 months to confirm the results .

The average time to seroconversion is 22 days. Most who are infected will test positive by 6 weeks. For various reasons a small number will take longer and that is why we follow the CDC recommendation to test at 3 months for a conclusive negative result.

Offline Robwilliams

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Re: Is it true that Hiv pep meds effecting your test results is just a myth
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2013, 01:00:49 PM »
Can you provide some actual proof or evidence that you have to wait 3 months after you take pep to get tested. My exposure was on July 31st. I'm
Getting tested on October and my doctor said if I'm Negative then I'm 100% clear. He said I don't have to wait 3 months after pep cause it has nothing to do with my results being positive or negative. I finished pep on September 9th. Test was negative on September 11th.

I was taking truvada norvir and reyataz. Where are you getting your info from? Like I said a few hiv counselers also told me that this is a myth. Pep hotline said its a myth too. Please provide some type of
Proof to back up your info

Offline Jeff G

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Re: Is it true that Hiv pep meds effecting your test results is just a myth
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2013, 01:31:22 PM »
Check this out .


Please note that the testing window period is now 6 weeks post exposure and 3 months to to conform the results ... some sites are still pushing the 6 months to a year , that outdated information . As I replied earlier , pep pushes the window period out to 6 weeks post pep .   

Offline Robwilliams

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Re: Is it true that Hiv pep meds effecting your test results is just a myth
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2013, 02:02:05 PM »
So are you telling me that my doctor and both hiv counselers are lying to me? They told me that that's a myth and there's no evidence or proof to back that up. I was exposed to hiv on July 31st. My doctor said I can get tested on October 31st. He said if its negative then I'm 100% negative. He said I don't have to wait 6 weeks or 3 months after pep

I stopped taking pep on September 9th so according to your logic I would have to get tested in December. That is completely outrageous and unheard of. The hiv counselers told me that this kind of myth only exists online. They even gave me a pep hotline to call and they also told me that what you saying is completely false. You have no evidence to back it up.

Now I know that even though I tested negative at 6 weeks I still have to get tested 3 months after HIV EXPOSURE. I don't have to wait 3 months after PEP to get tested AFTER PEP cause that's outrageous. I already put my life on hold since this happened, stopped talkin to freinds, stop talkin to girls and even quit school over this. I'm
Gonna take my doctor advice on this and if I test negative October 31 then I know  I'm 100% clear. No way I'm waiting all the way till December off something that's considered a myth and has no actual proof

« Last Edit: September 20, 2013, 07:49:09 PM by Jeff G »

Offline Jeff G

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Re: Is it true that Hiv pep meds effecting your test results is just a myth
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2013, 02:30:02 PM »
Whatever . You were put on PEP 24 hours too late for it to be effective anyway so such a fuss over nothing , did you doctor mention to you pep isnt effective after 72 hours ? . Your 3 free post are up so no need to reply .

I stand by the information I have provided .
« Last Edit: September 21, 2013, 05:21:07 AM by Jeff G »

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Is it true that Hiv pep meds effecting your test results is just a myth
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2013, 08:18:15 PM »
In many areas of the world, where the latest generation of HIV tests are being used, six weks is considered definitive. However, this being a global site (and not every place in the US has latest testing facilities) we will hold to the three month standard until the WHO determines that, globally, all testing is state of the art.

Insofar as PEP is concerned, it is ideally utilized within 24 hours past exposure. The efficacy has a rather steep drop after that, and whomever gave you PEP after thr 72 hour limit either wanted to appease you or was unaware of how, why and when PEP works.

PEP prevents HIV from replicating by interrupting it at several stages. PEP has nothing whatsoever to do with antoibody production, except insofar as to give your body no HIV particles to defend against by interrupting their ability to reproduce in CD4 cells.

Once your body recognizes the pathogen, it begins producing antibodies. This depends on how many viral particles manage to locate, infiltrate, and attack CD4 cells. At that time, they convert viral RNA into DNA and essentialy turn that cell into a HIV producing machine. When enough viral particles are produced by this zombie CD4 cell, it basically explodes and sends a large amount of viral particles into the bloodstream to begin the process anew.

PEP attempts to circumvent this, but as the medications take time to enter your system and begin this disruptive process, TIME is of the essence. This is why 24 hours is ideal, and past 72 is considered too late.

PEP extends the general antibody testing window because it DOES suppress viral replication. In the chance that the virus HAS entered enough CD4 cells and located your lymphatic system, PEP will delay your body's initial response to HIV if it fails.

Essentially you are stopping the viral clock with PEP and hoping that it has not infiltrated your system to the point where it is not effective at, for example, crossing the blood-brain barrier, serospimal fluid, organs, bone marrow, lymph nodes, and other places more difficult for HIV medication to penetrate. This can delay production of antibodies, and there are still more than enough general antibody tests offered to make this information relevant.

Tests like Abbot's 4th Gen Duo test, the Oraquick/Orasure, and some other test can detect antigen activity within 3-4 weeks of exposure, whereas standalone antibody tests cannot detect antigens at all.

Of course this is not a myth. It's science and it is also economics. And once you stop PEP, the amount of lingering viral particles not accessed by the medication (or not accessed quickly enough to infiltrate the aforementioned reservoirs) begin to replicate again, at the SAME RATE they would as if you were just infected. PEP is just like ART. It renders a person virally undetectable.

This is why the clock starts when you stop taking PEP, because the virus would need time to rebound if the treatment had been a failure, and only the latest technoloies would be able to detect this anywhere near to a non-PEP timeline.

^ C B Hare, B L Pappalardo, M P Busch, B Phelps, S S Alexander, C Ramstead, J A Levy, F M Hecht (2004). "Negative HIV antibody test results among individuals treated with antiretroviral therapy (ART) during acute/early infection". The XV International AIDS Conference. pp. Abstract no. MoPeB3107.

If SP is HIV positive, check HIV Ab at 6 weeks, and a 4th generation Ag/Ab test or HIV RNA test at 3-4 months. If these tests are not available, standard antibody testing should be performed at 3 and 6 months. Extended testing to 12 months is only indicated for HCP who actually became infected with HCV after exposure to an HCV-HIV co-infected source. Symptoms of acute HIV should prompt immediate evaluation.

http://www.nccc.ucsf.edu/hiv_clinical_resources/pepline_guidances_for_occupational_exposures/#What follow-up testing should be performed?

Our replies are conservative, because as I pointed out this is a global site.

4th generation Abbot duo and other  tests, of course, can detect antigen activity without extending the window period so long as a comcurrent HCV infection has not also happened.

You wre not being LIED to. You were simply asking the wrong questions and being given vague answers.

When you ask about and receive answers regarding HIV window periods, your next question ought to be "what sort of test does this assessment use (or assume was used?"

Here at POZ we default to standard antibody testing as it is still very widely used, especially in developing/impoverished areas of the world (and the US).

And frankly, if you know enough about the generation of test you are using to determine it's efficacy, then you are highly unlikely to need the information this forum has to offer.

Moreover, until the global standard is the state of the art, we will continue to offer the more conservative estimates. Because we would rather not encourage the spread of HIV through ignorance of the test performed or the mechanism by which PEP works.

This is the same reason we insist on a three month window period rather than a four to six week window period, even though modern testing has indeed evolved to allow such a standard in an increasing part of the world.

*modified for formatting

« Last Edit: September 20, 2013, 08:22:02 PM by jkinatl2 »
"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

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