[Question #675] Can acyclovir affect a HIV test result?

47 months ago
Hi dr

I've been on acyclovir for the past year, and I had a incident and was worried I might of been in contact with HIV. I had s 4th generation test at 4 weeks and another one at 5 weeks and 5 days and both came back negative! My question is because I've been on acyclovir for a long time and at the higher dose would that affect the HIV tests I had as it may be positive but the  acyclovir might of stop it showing a true reading! As I heard pep can delay the result I was wondering can acyclovir do the same? I take 800-1200 on most days.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
47 months ago

Welcome to our Forum.  There is no evidence and no scientific reason for acyclovir at any dose to have any impact whatsoever on the results of HIV tests.  Acyclovir has been repeatedly shown to have no effect on the growth of herpes viruses.  On the other hand PEP contains drugs with proven effect on the virus.

I hope this reply is helpful.  Please have complete faith in your recent test results.  EWH

---
47 months ago
Thanks dr so no need to retest the HIV because of the acyclovir? Why is that most of the gum clinics say now that it's conclusive at 8 weeks (uk) but you say it's conclusive at 4 weeks? I here and read so many things it's hard to believe which one? Just adds to the worry
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
47 months ago

Correct.  No need to re-test because of the acyclovir  The timing of re-testing depends on the test used.  Fourth generation, combination HIV antigen/antibody tests are conclusive at 4 weeks after exposure.  On the other hand, when somewhat less expensive, antibody only tests are used, results are not conclusive until at least 8 weeks after exposure.  EWH

 

---
47 months ago
But why are the gum clinics (uk) say that the 4th generation are 95% accurate at 4 weeks and 100 % at 8 weeks? I'm stressing as it was 5 weeks and 5 days! I'm worried it might not of picked HIV up?
47 months ago
And what's the latest you can seroconvert after an incident? I heard no more than 7 weeks? Sorry to go just stressing over it
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
47 months ago

You are asking me to explain recommendations that I did not contribute to.  Often however, organizations (and manufacturers) use more conservative estimates of performance than is warranted by scientific studies.  Perhaps this is the case here.

Your stress is misplaced.  If you are searching the internet, this may be fueling your UNWARRANTED anxieties.  I have provided you with the performance parameters for these tests above and see no need to repeat the answer- please read my earlier response.  Asking the same question repeatedly will not change the answer.

You do not even know that you were in contact with HIV!  If you don't know, then, in all likelihood (i.e. statistically), you were not even exposed.  The test results you reported using 4th generation tests at 4 and 5 weeks were conclusive.  I suggest you believe them. If your anxiety causes you to continue testing that is up to you and it is your money to waste.  The results are not going to change.

Forum guidelines permit us to provide three replies to clients' questions.  this is my third reply.  If you want to ask additional questions, you will have to start a new question. I hope my comments will prove helpful to you.  Take care.  EWH


---