« Go Back

Does RNA TMA test help at this time?

Question: 

Hello Community,

I have read some recent post and really appreciate volunteer people who take their time and help others. I'm one of them and I'm actually MUCH MUCH MORE TERRIFIED terrified right now as I'm feeling MUCH BETTER (almost as same old me) from last few days which turned out to be just a miracle.

About one and half month ago, I have had receptive unprotected anal sex. I had some bleeding hemorrhoids. Everything was fine for two to three weeks and things went downhill for me. I've FELT (not inflating any bit of it) possibly symptoms that happens with ARS.. had a mid grade burning fever, severe fatigue, night sweats, 15 sudden red blotches, sores in mouth, rash on face and chest area, total brain fog, swollen lymph not under armpit, anemia... I can go on an on ). It was terrible two to four weeks and now suddenly I feel great with clear mind.

-> Highest Risk of Anal UNPROTECTED receptive sex
-> Hemorrhoids
-> 2-4 weeks of severe ARS symptoms
-> Worst Symptoms suddenly went away and for now I'm just feeling awesome again, which worries me with clear mind/body as few weeks ago it worried me with unclear mind/body :-(

I had following test done
1) 1 week 4th gen ab/ag duo -ve
2) 4 1/2 week 4th gen ab/ag duo -ve
3) 5 1/2 week 4th gen ab/ag duo -ve
4) 5 1/2 week RNA TMA non-reactive...

I understand that by 4 week 95% will test positive in 4th gen. Worried that I might be in 5% who developes ab/ag after that time so I got RNA TMA done ...Does that give me some consolation ?

Answer: 

Hi there, and thanks a lot for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline for your HIV/AIDS related health information. It seems you're concerned about the possibility of HIV transmitting during an encounter, and about the accuracy of some tests you've had since then. We're happy to answer your question for you.

Unprotected sex is indeed considered a high risk activity, meaning that of the transmissions that have been observed to occur, most have occurred due to activities such as these. So it's great you were proactive and went for testing.

Here is a bit more information on the test you've had:

Test Name
Method
Window Period
Conditions
4th Generation EIA Blood test that looks for antibodies AND p24 protein antigens. Commonly referred to as the "combination," "combo" or "DUO" test. P24 protein is detectable immediately after infection but only for the first few weeks. The antibody (ab) test has a window period of 4-12 weeks post exposure. This test is widely available in North America. Most HIV specialists consider this test to be conclusive at 6 weeks but official HIV testing guidelines still recommend re-testing at 12 weeks for conclusive results. Conclusive at 3 months post exposure.

You'll see in the chart that this test is considered conclusive, meaning its results are taken as accurate, 3 months post exposure. The last test you've had done is 5.5 weeks post exposure, so is too soon to depict your status conclusively. You'll need to go for confirmatory testing at 3 months, especially considering the risk level involved.

As for the symptoms you are experiencing, we at AIDS Vancouver are not healthcare providers, so cannot comment on them. However, HIV infections are never diagnosed based on symptoms alone, simply because the symptoms of an HIV infection are quite common to many other common medical conditions. Testing is the only way to diagnose an HIV infection. If you're concerned about any symptoms you're experiencing, we'd encourage you to see a healthcare provider.

We also encourage you to use a condom for all of your encounters, as condom use substantially reduces the risk of transmission of HIV and STIs. For more information on condom use, check out one of our favourite resources at SmartSex.

Thanks a lot for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline with your question, we hope it has been answered fully.

Trevor

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online
helpline.aidsvancouver.org