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Is it reliable to do HIV PCR test after 3 years?

Question: 

Is it reliable to do HIV PCR test after 3 years and how is the HIV PCR test sensitivity after 3 years of post exposure?

Answer: 

Hello,

Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you were asking about the reliability of the HIV PCR test after a prolonged time from the potential exposure date.

HIV tests that detect the genetic material of HIV itself. PCR stands for Polymerase Chain Reaction and is a common way of testing for a variety of different organisms. It is done by measuring how much virus is in the blood of positive persons (viral load testing). RNA PCR NAAT tests are frequently used to screen blood or organ donations. Results from this screening test has an accuracy of 99.6% after 2-3 weeks since the date of exposure. Therefore, after 3 years of a potential exposure you can conclusively rely on the test results that are received (if testing was initiated).

If you have an additional question regarding any risk of exposure, please contact us. We are an anonymous agency and we simply identify the risks associated with activities. If however, you feel like you should be tested, do not hesitate to visit a healthcare provider and get tested.

Best regards,

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online, Jason