[Question #6880] Are these tests conclusive?

11 months ago
Hello, 

I am wondering whether these tests I have had so far is conclusive enough:

4th gen Blood Laboratory test:
4 weeks after COMPLETING PEP (8 weeks post-exposure): Negative
6 weeks after COMPLETING PEP (10 weeks post-exposure): Negative

Alere Determine Rapid Finger prick test:

67 days after completing PEP (~95 days post-exposure): Negative

The reason I am asking is that I have seen conflicting information regarding testing for HIV with PEP.

Just an additional information: I am a heterosexual male and my risk exposure was considered low, which is why I was confused when I was prescribed PEP.

Thank you.

Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
11 months ago
Welcome to our forum and thanks for your confidence in our assessments. It will be my pleasure to comment on your questions. To preview the more detailed answer below, you can believe your test results and assume that you have not acquired HIV from the low risk exposure that you mention without details.

Admittedly, there is some debate as to when the most appropriate time is to perform follow-up testing following receipt of PEP.,  However, both common sense and an abundance of data indicate that had you been exposed to active HIV infection that if the PEP had failed you would have had a positive test by six weeks following completion and certainly by day 67 Following completion of PEP.  In my opinion, individuals who recommend testing three months, six months, or even a year following completion of PEP are ignoring the biology of this infection and are being overly cautious because of their own fear of possibly being wrong. My answers are based on available science.

I hope that my responses are helpful to you. Where are you, I would have no further concerns and would not seek further testing. Take care.  EWH
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11 months ago
Thank you !

I was tested a couple of days ago with the 4th gen laboratory test, and the result is negative as expected. Given that this test is done  4 months after exposure and 3 months after PEP completion, according to your answer above, this is conclusive and I can put this behind me, right?
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
11 months ago
Yes, I would  encourage you to accept these results as conclusive and be completely comfortable with the results and that no additional testing is needed for this event.  EWH
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11 months ago
Thank you for your response, Dr. Hook ! I'll definitely take your advice and move on :)

Since I have one more reply, I'll just use it to ask this:

Of all these years learning about and doing research in HIV, what do you think are the biggest misconceptions/myths about HIV that you wish the general public would know more about?
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
11 months ago

I think many people has misconceptions about HIV and believe that it might be transmitted through casual, non-penetrative contact.  That is not the case.

As you point out, this is my 3rd response.  Thus the thread will be closed shortly without further responses.  Take care.  Please don't worry.  Believe your test results.  EWH

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