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Author Topic: DNA/PCR Subtype Accuracy  (Read 2748 times)

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Offline siamdreams72

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DNA/PCR Subtype Accuracy
« on: April 19, 2011, 07:49:06 PM »
60 days ago i had unprotected sex with a female CSW in Thailand.  Immediately upon return to my homeland, i had a full panel STD test performed (approx 5 days after possible exposure) and all results came back negative, with the exception of HSV 1 (which i was born with).    Approx 1 week later i briefly experienced some horrible nightsweats (bed sheets were soaked and i had to change bed clothes several times throughout the night).  Within a few days i began to show stereotypical ARS symptoms (malaise, muscle aches, swollen lymph glands, mild headache, sore throat, etc).  Taking into consideration the climate in the area i live in was quite cold at the time these symptoms occured, i attributed them to a pretty harsh flu bug that was going around, but i was still a bit concerned.     
These particular symptoms occured approx 3 weeks after exposure & lasted for about a week. 
Just before the symptoms went away i had another ora-sure test performed, as well as an additional full panel STD test (30 days after possible exposure) which all came back negative (except HSV1).  At that point, i was still experiencing mild swelling of my lymph glands, malaise, muscle aches & a constant pain in my groin. 
At 45 Days from possible exposure, i opted to take a 4th Gen DNA/PCR and an Elisa/Western Blot confirmation test.  Results came back negative. 

I've read every post under this particular topic & I'd like to make a few points before i get to my question:

- I understand the danger behind my risky behavior and have no intentions on EVER partaking in such behavior again.  No need to remind me, please.

- i understand that protected sex is an ABSOLUTE MUST, whether it's a CSW or not.

- I understand a doctor CANNOT diagnose HIV via symptoms, and furthermore a forum moderator can't diagnose HIV via symptoms, via the web.  No need to mention that point either. 

- I've read quite a bit in regards to various HIV Subtypes that exist around the world, particulary subtype AE which is predominant in SE Asia (primarily Thailand).  This subtype is well documented and i have no interest in arguing with a moderator in regards to it's existence.

- I'm familiar with the seroconversion window (med - 22 days), but have read in this forum that some subtypes have a substantially longer seroconversion window then HIV 1, subtype B.  Subtype AE, falls in this category.     

- I'm fully aware of the possibility of false positives when it comes to the DNA/PCR which is why it's not a recommended sole diagnostic test, so no point needs to be made in that regard.

My questions are: 

What is the probability of a false negative at 45 days with a DNA/PCR? 
Will a 4th Gen DNA/PCR at 45 days pick up Subtype AE? 
Is there any truth to the lengthened duration of the sero-conversion window when it comes to HIV-1 Subtypes?  Particularly AE?
Being that my initial symptoms came & gone prior to taking the DNA/PCR, in the event i did have the virus, would it be at detectable levels by then?  Or is that something that would be purely speculative?   
I do plan on taking a 13 week follow up (Ora-sure), but based on the negative results of the DNA/PCR should i be concerned?

I'd like to thank you for the courteous and non-condescending reply in advance. 

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: DNA/PCR Subtype Accuracy
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2011, 08:13:14 PM »
- I'm familiar with the seroconversion window (med - 22 days), but have read in this forum that some subtypes have a substantially longer seroconversion window then HIV 1, subtype B.  Subtype AE, falls in this category.     

Could you link to where you read that in these forums? That would be helpful.

I'd like to thank you for the courteous and non-condescending reply in advance.

Ditch the attitude, it's not gonna get you far around here.


Offline Andy Velez

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  • Member
  • Posts: 31,720
Re: DNA/PCR Subtype Accuracy
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2011, 08:26:18 PM »
The DNA PCR was never intended to be used as a diagnostic test. The good news in all of your details is that negative test result at 45 days. The average time to seroconversion is 22 days. All but the smallest number of those who are going to seroconvert will do so within 4-6 weeks after an exposure. You had a single possible exposure (unless you had unprotected intercourse multiple times).

It's significantly harder to transmit HIV from female to male than the other way around. All of this with your negative result points to the likelihood that you will continue to test negative at 3 months.

As for your symptoms, there is nothing HIV specific about them. If they continue you should discuss them with your doctor.

All in all I expect you to continue to test negative.
Andy Velez


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