[Question #6028] HIV rna test

17 months ago
Hi Dr, my question is on the false positive rate of RNA early detection test. Would having the flu interfere with the result. I took one 14 days after exposure low risk. Are the false positive rates high for this test? 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
17 months ago
Welcome to the Forum and thanks for your question.  Falsely positive HIV RNA tests occur less than 1% of the time but that is a rate substantially higher than seen for the recommended 4th generation HIV antigen/antibody tests.  Of course the RNA tests do become earlier a bit sooner than the 4th generation tests (11-14 days vs. 4-6 weeks).  Having influenza is not known to change the likelihood of a falsely positive result.  

I hope this information is helpful.  EWH
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17 months ago
Great, how reliable are they after 14 days?  Yhanks for the time 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
17 months ago
While they are highly reliable, most experts still suggest follow-up with a 4th generation test 6 or more weeks after the exposure.  I suspect this recommendation is overly conservative.  I have never seen nor heard of a person with a negative HIV RNA test who then become positive at the time of six week testing.  EWH---
17 months ago
Thanks Dr. Hook, so they are 99 percent reliable at 14 days? I know it’s not 100. Looking to see if it is worth it or if I wasted my money.  That’s my last question

Thanks for all you do
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
17 months ago
I would say that HIV RNA PCR tests will be more than 99% accurate at 14 days.  You can believe your test results and I hope that they will give you peace of mind.  

I hope this information is helpful.  Please don't worry.  EWH
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Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
17 months ago
We provide up to three responses for each client's questions.  There have now been three responses.  Therefore this thread is now being closed.  EWH---