Anonymous
I got hiv antibody test at 6 weeks and hiv pcr plasma at 8 weeks post possible exposure.
Almost all the symptoms have been experienced. Fever, night sweats and sore thoroat are recurrent.

1. How reliable and accurate antibody test at 6 week post possible exposure?

2. How reliable and accurate pcr plasma test at 8 weeks if even viral load is very very low?

3. Could these test detect if there is coinfection with hepatitis.

4. Is fever and sore throat in hiv recurring and intermittent?
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Anonymous
Hi there,

Thank you for contacting our Helpline for HIV related information. We are happy to assist you.

1. In general, antibody tests are considered fully conclusive at 3 months. However, they are 95% accurate at 4-6 weeks. It also depends on the type of antibody test: the newer 4th Generation tests are accurate earlier. Many experts consider them conclusive at 6 weeks. In your case, at 8 weeks it is extremely likely that your test is accurate. You can get a follow up test at 3 months to make sure.

2. The PCR tests are usually used for early detection because the viral load is high during the acute phase. The viral load does go down after antibodies are produced, but it does not go down to levels of being undetectable (this only happens when a person is on antiretroviral treatment). The accuracy for this test at 6 weeks is 95-98%. However, antibody tests are usually used instead at this point because most people produce antibodies in the first few weeks.

3. No, for detection of Hepatitis, you would need a different diagnostic test. Talk to your doctor or health care professional about this test. There are different types of Hepatitis, but for information about hepatitis C a good resource is: http://www.catie.ca

4. Symptoms such as fever and sore throat, and other flu like symptoms, can sometimes occur in the acute phase of infection. These begin at about 2-6 weeks, but they only last about 8-10 days. THey are not known to be recurring and intermittent, so if these are bothering you you should bring them up with your doctor. Keep in mind that symptoms cannot be used to diagnose HIV: only a test can tell you your status. Symptoms are very nonspecific and could be due to many other things.

I hope I have addressed your concerns. Feel free to contact us again through our forums, email, or phone line if you have further questions.

Thanks,

Sandra

AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer


AIDS Vancouver Helpline
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