[Question #4426] Need Help PLEASE

29 months ago
 I'm a man and had sex with women

I took HIV RNA TEST QUALITATIVE 11 DAYS AFTER EXPOSURE:  Test was negative   
I did take Valacyclovir 500 mg ( Valtrex)  for 3- 4 days after exposure ,but then quit

I have had testicular cancer twice 10,15 years ago and did take chemo 15 years ago and I do take testosterone shots every 2 weeks or gel when needed.

I want to know if any of my past medical history or taking the Valtrex 500mg FOR 3-4 DAYS  would affect the negative Test.Please let me know SO i can quit worrying
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
29 months ago
Welcome to the forum. Thanks for your question.

You say nothing about your partner, or exactly what kind of contact you had (vaginal sex?), or whether a condom was used. So it is difficult to assess how risky your exposure was. But in any case, a negative HIV RNA test at 11 days is nearly 100% reliable, so almost certainly you did not catch HIV. There are no medications and no medical conditions that have any effect either on HIV tests or on the likelihood of catching HIV. That includes valacyclovir, testosterone, or past or current cancer (testicular or any other cancer). For 100% conclusive certainty, have an HIV antigen-antibody test in addition to the DNA test. You can expect it to remain negative. (If you'd like to say more about your partner and the nature of the exposure, I might have some additional advice, which likely would also be reassuring.)

A final comment about the valacyclovir. Presumably you took it in hope of preventing genital herpes. However, you should know that taking anti-HSV drugs after exposure has absolutely no effect. If exposed to HSV, you cannot prevent it from taking hold by taking drug after exposure. However, if you haven't had symptoms of new genital herpes in the time since this sexual exposure, you can be pretty sure you didn't catch herpes.

I hope this information is helpful. Let me know if anything isn't clear.

HHH, MD
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29 months ago
sorry, yes we had vaginal and there was no condom used. I know stupid, but I have learned a very valuable lesson about myself. I don't know the person  well enough to give any history.

I was just worried the Valacyclovir medicine would mess with my test, if i TOOK three days does that move my time frame on days . So if I took for 3 days post exposure and tested tested the 11th day, should I have really tested on 14th day since I took the medicine Valacylovir  ort does it matter ?
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
29 months ago
It doesn't matter. Taking valacyclovir -- in any amount, and regardless of timing -- had absolutely no effect on your HIV test.---
29 months ago
So I can relax and quit worrying? And I  learned a valuable lesson from this

Is HIV FROM man to women vaginal intercourse hard to catch?
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
29 months ago
"Hard to catch" is relative -- some people would consider it "hard", others too easy. For a single episode of vaginal sex, without a condom, if the male partner has HIV, there is about 1 chance in 1,000 the woman will be infected. If the woman has HIV, it's about 1 chance in 2,500 for her male partner.

As I said in my original reply, your test is highly reliable but not quite conclusive.  For 100% assurance you don't have HIV, you also need an AgAb (duo, "4th generation") blood test. In combination with your negative RNA test, the AgAb test will be conclusive at 4 weeks after the event.

That concludes the two follow-up comments and replies included with each question and so concludes this thread. You can relax; it is extremely unlikely you have HIV. So stay mellow until time comes for the AgAb test at 4 weeks.

I hope the discussion has been helpful.

HHH, MD
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