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Date of last update: 10/12/2017.

Forum Name: AIDS

Question: Infection risk and further testing

 nexus - Mon Aug 06, 2007 12:19 am

Hello Doctor,

I (25 year old male) have a question concerning an event 7 weeks ago when I had protected sex with a girl. The problem is that, while I was pulling out my penis, the condom came off, however at this moment it was still covering the head of my penis. But then I tried to insert my penis again which didn't really work as it wasn't hard enough anymore. However I am not sure whether the head of my penis came in contact with some vaginal fluid at this time. All I can remember is that I only tried to insert my penis once and - if it came in contact - it was no longer than 5 - 10 seconds!

After this incident, four weeks later I took a PCR RNA HIV 1 test in combination with an ELISA antibody test, both were negative. Another half a week later (5 1/2 week after exposure) I took an Oraquick test, also negative. Again one week later I took another Oraquick test, again negative, so this time 6 ½ weeks later.

I was told by my doctor at the medical center in Boston where I live, that the 6 1/2 week test would be conclusive, but I am not sure about that. I read that the CDC tells everybody to wait at least 3 months.

So what to do think? Would you recommend further testing? The doctor also told me that in my situation there wasn't a real infection risk. On other sites in the Internet I read however, that there is always a risk when the head of the penis is exposed to vaginal fluids.

One more question: Does the fact that I have an allergy (hay fever) alter in test results? Do I have a suppressed immune system?

Please help me as I am really freaking out.... can't hardly sleep!
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Fri Aug 10, 2007 11:33 pm

User avatar Hi Nexus,

The PCR test is accurate fairly quickly, generally by a month. The oraquick and Eliza are tests that look for antibodies. These may be positive fast; however, it is generally recommended that these tests be repeated if they are done before 3 months.

Overall, your risk sounds like it is low. However, all tests do have an inherent false negative rate. As such, if you are concerned it is reasonable to be retested at 3 months. A negative test at that point would be even more trustworthy.

Best wishes.

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