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HIV and Acyclovir

Question: 

Hello!

i had unprotected vaginal sex 19 weeks ago. I did 4 HIV tests at 5,8,12 and 16 weeks after exposure. and also other STD's. All the tests were negative. AT week 15 i experience some swollen lymph nodes in my nek. the test at week 16 was negative so the docter said that it is nothing to worry about. But iets been 3 weeks later and they are still there.. i am a bit worried now.

Also i have read that acyclovir kan slow down the reproduction of the HIV virus.
i take this medication voor HSV-1. And i have taken this medication the first week after exposure because i had an outbreak. I took it one week, 2 pills a day. My test at 5 weeks was negative. Than one day before the 12 week test after exposure i get another outbreak and took also this medication.

my questions are: Can i definitely rule out HIV? and Does acyclovir effect a HIV test or the HIV virus because it is used in the HAART therapie?

Answer: 

Hello,

Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you were asking whether acyclovir would affect the HIV test results you have received after engaging in unprotected vaginal sex. From the information given, this scenario is determined to be High Risk (evidence of transmission through these activities and is the majority of cases of transmission).

The scenario mentioned above does meet the three components of the Transmission Equation. It was very responsible of you to access HIV testing after engaging in a high risk activity such as unprotected vaginal sex. Acyclovir is a drug that is active against Herpes viruses, and has been implicated in possibly lowering HIV levels in people living with HIV. Two very large studies have demonstrated that even though acyclovir reduces the levels of HIV virus in people living with HIV, it does not reduce the risk of transmission of HIV (1,2). This means that if there is a newly acquired infection, the levels would still become detectable, regardless of acyclovir use. Since you have accessed testing outside of the window period for completely conclusive results (12 weeks), you can be confident in the negative tests.

Recommendation: No further testing is required as an HIV test has been accessed outside of the window period. Refer to a physician for more personalized answers.

Regards,

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online, Marie