Anonymous
Hello!

I have some questions about HIV testing, HIV medications and test results.

My first question, could ingestion of HIV medications possibly affect test results, like perhaps accidentally taking anti-viral meds while being HIV-negative?

Secondly, how exactly does certain medicines affect test results?

And lastly, how effective would an 8 week HIV test be?

Thank you for answering!
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Anonymous
Hi there, and thanks a lot for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline with your HIV/AIDS related health information. It seems you have some questions about how antiretrovirals can effect test results. We're happy to answer your question.

Taking antiretrovirals, even if you are HIV negative, can definitely effect the results of subsequent HIV tests. For example PEP (or post exposure prophylaxis) is an antiretroviral medication commonly given to prevent an HIV infection from establishing itself. Taking PEP, or antiretroviral medication, essentially delays the ability of an HIV test from detecting a positive result in someone previously negative for as long as it is taken. Note that this is antiretroviral medications specifically, not all anti-virals.

Most HIV tests are considered conclusive 3 months post exposure (or 12 weeks). A test at 8 weeks would be a pretty good indicator of your status, but would not be considered conclusive.

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

Trevor

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online

helpline.aidsvancouver.org
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