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Is HIV antibody test considered a confirmatory test for HIV?

The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At May 31, 2022
Reviewed AtAugust 10, 2023

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

I took HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) RNA (ribonucleic acid) PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test after 11 days of sexual contact. The result is negative, but I have a few bumps on my face. Please help.

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

I understand your concern.

The HIV RNA PCR test (human immunodeficiency virus ribonucleic acid polymerase chain reaction) is not used for confirmatory diagnosis. So I suggest you take HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) antibodies test after three months of exposure for final diagnosis. Your symptoms are not related to HIV. Consult your doctor for examination and management of lesions.

Hope this helps.

Regards.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thank you for the reply.

I took the test after 27 days. I have attached the results. Please help.

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

From the report attached (attachment removed to protect the patient's identity), the result of the HIV antibodies test shows negative. It is not considered conclusive at this stage. The chances of getting positive results later are almost nil. But it is better to retake the test after three months of exposure.

Hope this helps.

Regards.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thank you for the reply.

I took three tests, which included an HIV RNA test, an HIV antigen test after 22 days, and an HIV duo combo test after 28 days. I already sent you reports for HIV RNA and duo combo test. Now I am attaching the HIV antigen test report, which I took after 22 days.

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I understand your concern.

From the report attached (attachments removed to protect the patient's identity), the HIV duo test after 30 days of exposure is negative. It is almost conclusive at this stage. The chances of HIV tests coming positive later are almost nil. But it is better to do an HIV antibodies test again after three months of exposure for confirmatory diagnosis.

Hope this helps.

Kind regards.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thank you for the reply.

After how many days are the HIV RNA PCR test and other antigen tests conclusive? Could you please go through this test result of the HIV duo combo test?

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I understand your concern.

HIV RNA PCR is sensitive after 14 days of exposure. From the reports attached (attachments removed to protect the patient's identity), your result is negative. HIV duo or combo test is sensitive after one month of exposure. It is better to do an HIV antibodies test after three months of exposure to have conclusive results and relieve anxiety.

Hope this helps.

Regards.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thank you for the reply.

Is this test conclusive, as I took it after 12 days? Is this an HIV RNA PCR test? I got a few bumps in my beard area with white pus discharge and blood. Are these bumps related to HIV?

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I understand your concern.

No, this test is not conclusive. The bumps are not related to HIV. I suggest you consult your dermatologist for further examination and management of these bumps.

Hope this helps.

Regards.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thank you for the reply.

I took the HIV duo combo test again after 35 days. Is it conclusive?

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I understand your concern.

There is no need to do tests repeatedly. I suggest you to do the test after three months of exposure for confirmatory diagnosis.

Hope this helps.

Regards.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thank you for the reply.

I do not have a cough or cold, but I have been getting mucus once every 30 minutes for the past two days. I am spitting it out. I do not have any pain. Is anything related to my earlier questions? I regularly monitor my body temperature, and it is an average of 98.7 degrees Celsius on an oral thermometer.

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

There is nothing to worry about. Just relax.

Revert in case of queries.

Kind regards.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thank you for the reply.

What is the name of the HIV RNA PCR test? The laboratory technician told me it is conclusive after ten days, and if it is negative, there is no need to worry. I have attached that test report.

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I understand your concern.

From the reports attached (attachments removed to protect the patient's identity), it is a very sensitive test but not usually used as a confirmatory test for HIV. Do the tests as suggested earlier. It is called as HIV RNA PCR test only.

Regards.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thank you for the reply.

What is the ideal body temperature in an oral thermometer? At what temperature do we consider it a fever? After three months, do I need to repeat the duo test?

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Fever can be due to other conditions and not necessarily HIV. Anything above 99 degrees Celsius can be a fever. I suggest you take the HIV duo or HIV antibodies test after three months of exposure.

Hope this helps.

Regards.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thank you for the reply.

Should I be concerned with my reports?

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

From the reports attached (attachment removed to protect the patient's identity), the tests are almost conclusive as per the dates mentioned. But it is better to do the tests after three months of exposure to have conclusive results.

Regards.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thank you for the reply.

Can I consider these reports fine and repeat the test after three months for a confirmatory diagnosis? Am I HIV-negative?

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I understand your concern.

The chances of test results coming positive later are almost negligible, provided there is no further risk of exposure.

Regards.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thank you for the reply.

I understood that I have to take this test after three months, and it has negligible chances of getting a positive HIV report.

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I have mentioned this earlier.

Regards.

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

I took this test after 47 days of unprotected sex. Now, I took the test again after a few days.

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

From the attached reports (attachments removed to protect the patient's identity), HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) antibodies tests are negative. I suggest going for an HIV antibodies test after three months of exposure.

Hope this helps.

Kind regards.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thank you for the reply.

Is this test the same as the antibody test my laboratory technician recommended?

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

The test report attached (attachments removed to protect the patient's identity) is of the fourth-generation antibodies test.

Revert in case of queries.

Regards.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thank you for the reply.

Are these tests reliable?

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I understand your concern.

It is almost conclusive. I cannot tell the percentage. The chances of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) tests coming positive later are almost nil, provided there is no further risk of exposure.

Hope this helps.

Kind regards.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thank you for the reply.

I am getting bumps with white pus and water in the beard area. What could that be?

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Can you please send a clear photograph of the lesion?

Regards.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thank you for the reply.

I have attached the pictures with this. Please check.

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

From the attached images (attachments removed to protect the patient's identity), these appear like acne. I would suggest you follow up with a dermatologist for the management of these.

Thank you.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thank you for the reply.

I am happy after consulting you.

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Thank you, and wish you safe and good health.

Revert in case of queries.

Regards.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thank you for the reply.

I have taken this test after 87 days of unprotected sex. Please suggest.

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

The HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) antibodies test report (attachment removed to protect the patient's identity) is negative.

Hope this helps.

Regards.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thank you for the reply.

This test was done after I had unprotected intercourse.

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

You are free from HIV. I suggest you do not require HIV tests.

Regards.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thank you for the reply.

By saying further risk exposure, do you mean participating in unprotected sex?

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I suggest you do not engage in unprotected intercourse.

Kind regards.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thanks again.

After 120 days of unprotected sex, I took this test. Could you please confirm whether any further tests are required or not? How much percent can I consider this conclusive, and I am completely free from HIV, right?

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I understand your query.

If the HIV antibodies test after 120 days is negative, it is conclusive. You are free from HIV, provided there is no further risk exposure. There is no further need for HIV tests.

Hope this addresses your concern.

Kind regards.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thanks again. I am getting pimples with white pus in my beard area. Could you help me with this? What is the reason for this?

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I understand your concern.

It may be due to acne. You can consult your doctor for further management.

Kind regards.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thank you. I have done this test after 165 days of unprotected sex. Can I consider this test as conclusive?

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Thank you for the follow-up query.

This is conclusive, provided there is no further risk exposure. There is no further need for HIV tests.

Regards.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thank you. With these tests I took, could you look into this?

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I understand your concern.

According to the reports (attachments removed to protect the patient's identity), IgE (immunoglobulin E) is elevated. It may be due to some allergies, asthma, allergic rhinitis, etc. It is not related to HIV. Consult your doctor based on your symptoms, if any.

Kind regards.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thanks again. I am getting small bumps in the neck area and beard area. Is this anything related?

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I understand your concern.

It appears to be due to folliculitis (attachments removed to protect the patient's identity). You can use topical antibiotic creams like Fucidin or Mupirocin cream. Consult your doctor for further examination and management.

Hope this helps.

Kind regards.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thank you for the reply.

Is this also because of an allergy?

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I understand your concern.

IgE elevation is likely due to allergy. Others are not so remarkable. You can consult your physician for evaluation.

Kind regards.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thank you for the reply.

All these are not related to HIV right? Can I leave all tensions related to HIV?

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I understand your concern.

The HIV tests are negative. So you need not worry about HIV.

Revert in case of more queries.

Kind regards.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thanks again.

After how many days, this test is conclusive, as I took this test after 165 days. Shall I relax, or do I need to take the test again?

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I understand your concern.

It is conclusive after three months of exposure. There is no need for further HIV tests.

Regards.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thanks for resolving all my queries. I am facing a runny nose and mucus spitting from my mouth. Is this related to some allergies only and not HIV, right?

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I understand your concern.

It is not related to HIV.

Hope this helps.

Regards.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Basti Bharatesh Devendra
Dr. Basti Bharatesh Devendra

Dermatology

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