[Question #1962] HIV testing with symptoms

48 months ago
I had a possible exposure to insertive anal. I used a glory hole but have suspicion he did more than oral to me. I'm not certain. 8 days later I got a fever over 100 that subsided to low grade for a week or to never over 100. Body aches loss of appetite cough dizziness nausea. Week three I was swabbed and tested pos for FLU B. Could I have had the flu for three weeks?

These are my tests
Day 8 labcorp RNA test -neg 
Day 15 labcorp RNA test-neg 
Day 16 Alere rapid combo- neg 
Day 16 4th gen eia- neg 
Day 22 alere rapid combo- neg 
Day 24 labcorp RNA- neg 
Day 30- 4th gen combo- neg 
Day 38- labcorp combo- neg 
Day 42 labcorp combo- neg 

I would feel good about this but I'm concerned about labcorps accuracy. Online there is some bad things said about them. On top of that I still have some symptoms. 

Do you think I should continue to test?
Do you think I'm hiv negative conclusively?

Thank you for reply!
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
48 months ago
Welcome to ur Forum.  I'll be pleased to comment. 4th generation or "combo" laboratory tests for HIV provide defintive/completely reliable laboratory tests at any time more than 4 weeks after an exposure.  While any lab and any test may rarely malfunction or perform incorrectly, the chances of this happening to you on three successive tests (your days 30, 38 and 40) are astronomically low and not a concern in the least.  I would have complete confidence that these test results are acurate and that they conclusively prove that you did not acquire HIV from the exposure you have described. I see no reason for further testing

Lab Corp is a highly respected lab which performs lab tests on thousand and thousands of people each day.  Further, as an approved laboratory, they are highly regulated.  I would have complete confidence in their results. 

Flu-like illness can be caused by a very, very long list of problems.  If you are troubled by your persistent symptoms other than the possibility that you may have been exposed to HIV (which you now know you do not have), my advice would be to seek evaluation by your regular Doctor seeking non-HIV/non-STI reasons.

I hope my comments are helpful.  EWH
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48 months ago
I am pleased to hear your expert comments. The day 30 test was actually performed at my local health department and not labcorp. The other two day 38 and day 42 were done at the same labcorp. You are right that it wouldn't make sense to have it malfunction twice.  Would you consider any of the RNA tests as solid proof combined with my combo testing that I am free of hiv? Thank you SO MUCH!
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
48 months ago
Your first RNA test was a bit early to be definitive, even by the manufacturers' standards.  On the other hand a negative RNA at 15 days is likewise probably definitive evidence that you were not infected by the encounter you described.  We do not recommend the RNA tests for several reasons including that there is less experience with them than with the other, more widely used tests, that they have a much higher false positive rate than other tests and, as you probably found out, are more expensive.  That said, your RNA data do still further support that you were not infected.

Do you mind if I ask, how much did no pay Lab Corp for the RNA test and the combo tests?  EWH
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48 months ago
I went through stdcheck.com. I paid about 170 for the RNA and about 80 for the fourth gen tests. EACH.

It was pricey but my sanity was at stake. The fact that I went through this website doesn't change your answer does it?
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
48 months ago
Thanks for the information.  No, having accesses testing through the website does not change my assessment in the least.  EWH
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48 months ago
Can I allow my boyfriend to have unprotected oral in me? I've been checked for other sti,s and was clear. We don't have anal only oral.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
48 months ago
Yes, based on your history and your tests, I would not hesitate to clear you for sex.  

 As you probably know, forum guidelines call for three responses to each question. We have now exceeded that. This thread will be closed in a few hours. Take care EWH
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