I had protected sex with my HIV-positive partner and underwent testing. Please help me understand the results.

Q. What does 66. 9 copies/mL in an HIV RNA screening test mean?

Answered by
Dr. Ramalingam. P. K
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Aug 13, 2022 and last reviewed on: Aug 08, 2023

Hi doctor,

My partner is HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) positive, and I had protected sex for 30 seconds using a condom. After one week, I developed fever, muscle aches, stomach pain, and red pimples on the genitals. After 45 days of exposure, I underwent HIV, RNA (Ribonucleic acid), PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) tests, and ELISA (Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay) fourth generation test non-reactive. But nothing was not detected. However, after 28 days of exposure, the RNA quantitative test results were less than 66.9 copies/mL. I do not understand what this is. Please give me your suggestions and help me understand the issue.


Hi, Welcome to icliniq.com.

I went through your query and understood your concern. If the test results after 45 days show that RNA (ribonucleic acid) and PCR (polymerase chain reaction) are negative, then it is almost negative. And the fourth generation ELISA (enzyme-linked immunoassay) is a very sensitive test and that is also negative. So there is nothing to worry about. If the test report says less than 66 copies/mL after 28 days, it means that the test will detect only if the viral load is more than 66 copies/mL. In the case of a primary HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infection, the viral load will be definitely high in multiples of thousands and easily detectable if tested on the 28th day. In case of any doubts, a test on the 90th day would help you get convinced. Since you were in protected intercourse, the transmission is highly unlikely, even if the client was HIV positive. So, I suggest you to repeat these tests on the 90th day for your betterment.

I hope this has helped you. Take care.

Hi doctor,

Thank you for your reply.

I am confused. Does viral load 66 mean negative or positive? So, will I get a positive after 90 days? Please help me.



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I saw your blood reports (attachment removed to protect the patient's identity). The interpretation should be the person is negative for HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). Also, I suggest you to repeat the HIV PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test after 90 days.

I hope this has helped you. Take care.

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