[Question #4968] Hiv viral load

24 months ago
Dear doctor 
I have tested quantitative hiv 1 and 2.method at 67 days. 
I received the hiv 1 and it says below 30 copies as this is their threshold. I believe it means nothing was detected. (<30 copies/ml).  I am still waiting for hiv 2 as it takes time and I will update once received. 

1)My question is: is it possible for the hiv to be less than 30 copies after 67 days?
2) do I need any further testing?

Ps. I also did multiple pcr rna qualitative for hiv 1 and 2on days 15,30,50 and were not detected and I did multiple hiv combo p24 test up to day 75 which was non reactive. 

Thanks for your support 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
24 months ago
Welcome to our Forum.  You do not describe the context of your exposure so I may be off base but, for most of our clients on this Forum, I am saddened when they spend extra money testing for HIV using quantitative PCR.  While in selected situations this test is useful for early detection of infection, in most cases these tests are no more sensitive than the combination HIV antigen/antibody tests that are the global gold standard for HIV diagnosis.  

Your interpretation of your PCR results is correct. Every test has a lower limit of detection below which results are somewhat less reliable.  For most HIV PCR tests that limit is 30 copies.  Infected persons typically have thousands of circulating copies from very early in the course of infection.  Thus:
1. No
2. No.

Youi can be confident that you are not HIV infected at this time unless you have been taking anti-retroviral medications.  EWH

 
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24 months ago
Dear doctor 
Thanks for your reply. 
No I don’t take any medication. I only take lexatonil and Zoloft. 
1)I will just be waiting for the hiv 2 result as they have not sent it yet. Should I be worried about that?

I will be receiving them in 12 days as they take a long time to process. 
24 months ago
Sorry I forgot to mention my exposure. It was unprotected vaginal sex while the girl was on her period
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
24 months ago
Those medications will have no effect on the test or its reliability.

In you are in North America, HIV-2 is not a concern- less than 60 or last year's over 40,000 new HIV infections were HIV-2 and all of those were in people with ties to India or West Africa.  the reason thePCR  test for HIV-2 takes so long is probably that there are so few requests, the test is not run regularly.

FYI, there is no change in risk of unprotected sex when sex occurs during a woman's period or not- there is about the same about of virus in vaginal secretions as in menstrual blood.

Hope this information is helpful. EWH


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24 months ago
I live in the Middle East. But the girl came for visit from France. Is the hiv combo p24 antigen also accurate for hiv 2 and all other strains at 75 days?
24 months ago
I would like to also mention that I have swollen lymph node as per the ct scan. And weight loss as symptoms. Maybe from anxiety
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
24 months ago
The HIV combo test accurately detects antibodies to HIV-2 but not p24 antigen.  HIV-2 is quite rare in France as well.  

As for the swollen lymph nodes and weight loss, these are no-specific problems with many potential causes, inclduing anxiety.  EWH
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24 months ago
Doctor my test was the hiv combo including p24. What I meant; are my results conclusive at 75 days? With all those tests 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
24 months ago
Yes, your results from combo tests performed at 75 days are certainly conclusive and are confirmed by the other tests you have taken.  There is no need for further testing.

 I failed to inform you earlier that we typically provide just three responses to each clients questions. This is your fourth response. Thus this thread will be closed now. Take care. Please don't worry. EWH 
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