Anonymous
I am a man. I am 27 years old. I have been using corticosteroids (pills and skin ointments) frequently since 2011 due to medical reasons. As a result of that I have a weak immune system. I had a session with a female sex worker in 28/November/2013. I had a HIV antibody test (3rd generation) in 03/October/2014 (309 days after the exposure). My results were negative.

I had four Anti-Rabies shots (a full course of Anti–Rabies Vaccine).
1. Anti-Rabies 01st shot (2 site intradermal) – 06/May/2014
2. Anti-Rabies 02nd shot (2 site intradermal) – 09/May/2014
3. Anti-Rabies 03rd shot (4 site intradermal) – 13/May/2014
4. Anti-Rabies 04th shot (4 site intradermal) – 06/June/2014

Please answer the following questions.

1. Is there any effect of my four Anti-Rabies shots or corticosteroids on the HIV test?
2. Do I need to get tested for HIV again?
3. Are my test results conclusive?
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Anonymous
Hello there!

Thank you for using AIDS Vancouver Helpline as your source for HIV/AIDS related information.

Before I answer your question, I would like to remind you that commercial sex workers are no more likely to have or pass HIV than anyone else, as the risk of acquiring HIV is based on the activity that you engage in rather than the person involved.

Now, to answer your question:

1. The four anti-rabies shots and the corticosteroids that you took will not effect the results of the HIV test. The only cases in which there would be a delay in the results are if you have taken PEP, if you are taking medication for Hepatitis C, if you are undergoing treatment for cancer, or if you have a pre-existing immunodeficiency that would have been diagnosed in childhood. In such cases, testing at six months post-exposure is recommended for a conclusive result. However, if you do not fall into any of these categories, testing at three months post exposure are absolutely conclusive.

2 & 3. Therefore, unless you engaged in other high-risk activities for HIV transmission during that time, your test results at 309 days post-exposure (which is about 10 months) are absolutely conclusive and no further testing is required. You have not acquired HIV.

We here at AIDS Vancouver recommend all sexually active individuals to practice safe sex (through condoms and water-based lubricants) and receive regular testing for all sexually transmitted infections (including but not limited to HIV) whether annually, bi-annually, or every few months depending on your schedule.

I hope this answer was helpful. Please feel free to contact us again if you have further questions or concerns.

Hani
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