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Q. Can Prednisolone affect HIV combo test results?

Answered by
Dr. Basti Bharatesh Devendra
and medically reviewed by Dr. Sneha Kannan
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 08, 2022

Hello doctor,

I had sexual intercourse four and a half months back. I had taken the HIV Combo test after 46, 70, 124, and 138 days and the results came negative, respectively. I have a previous history of asthma and have been taking 5 mg Prednisolone daily for the past one year. Now, I have the following concern :

1. Can my taking Prednisolone delay antibodies?

2. Are these results conclusive, or do they need to be repeated at six months?

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#

Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

It is good that the fourth-generation HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) antibodies test is negative repeatedly and after 138 days of risk exposure. Prednisolone (a steroid medication) can alter the antibodies to some extent. In my opinion, the test can be considered conclusive as the test also detects HIV antigens. The chances of HIV tests coming positive later are almost nil. If you are anxious, you can go for an HIV antibodies test after six months of exposure to relieve anxiety.

Hi doctor,

Thank you. I want to add that I did not take Prednisolone for 70 days before the last test. In this case, my previous antibodies test is conclusive or still need to be repeated?

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Prednisolone, to some extent, can alter antibodies. In my opinion, the test can be considered conclusive as the test also detects HIV antigens. The chances of HIV tests coming positive later are almost nil. As said previously, you can go for an HIV antibodies test after six months of exposure to be relieved of anxiety.

Thank you doctor,

I have suffered from sores on my tongue for the last three months. So I met with a doctor, and he advised me to gargle with one teaspoon of Prednisolone with one glass of water two times a day.

1. Can it cause a delay of antibodies? As you suggested to repeat the test at six months.

2. Can it have the same effect on immune systems as Prednisolone tablets? Kindly advise.

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Thank you for the follow-up query. These may be due to aphthous ulcers. Prednisolone may alter antibodies to some extent as it is a steroid. The chances of HIV tests coming positive later are almost nil, as HIV tests repeatedly come negative. Go for HIV tests after six months of exposure to be relieved of anxiety.

Thank you doctor,

Now, my question is, do gargling with Prednisolone syrup and water can affect antibodies as??

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Thank you for the follow-up query. Some absorption can take place, and there are minimal chances of affecting antibodies. To be safer and relieve anxiety totally, you can go for a test after six months of exposure.

Hello doctor,

As I had sex with an African sex worker, so I’m concerned about HIV2. Can A Combo test detect P24 antigen for HIV2 as well? Or does it detect P24 antigen for only HIV1.

Please help.

Thank you.

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Thank you for the query. Yes, many of the HIV combo tests detect HIV 1 antigen and HIV 1/2 antibodies. You can check in your reports regarding the same. You need not worry as the tests are already negative repeatedly and even at 138 days post-exposure. As mentioned earlier, go for HIV tests again after six months to relieve your anxiety.Thank you.

Hello doctor,

Please find my attached combo test reports and advise me, do these tests detect antigen for HIV2? Or is it only for HIV1?

Thank you.

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Thank you for the query. It is more likely to detect p24 ag of HIV 1. it is not mentioned clearly. It does not matter in your scenario as antigen usually is transient for the initial few weeks, and later antibodies only will be detected. As 138 days have lapsed, antibodies detection is more critical and conclusive. The chances of HIV tests coming positive later are almost nil in your scenario. Just because intake of prednisolone is there, you may have to go for an HIV antibodies test after six months of exposure to relieve anxiety.Thank you.

Hello doctor.

Today I got the result of the PCR test for HIV 2. Sample was taken on 23rd Nov, which is on 155 days after. It came negative. PCR for HIV 1 was also negative after 138 days of exposure. I have attached those reports herein. Antibodies test after six months is still required, or I can be sure that I’m free from both HIV.

Thank you.

#

Hi,

Welcome back icliniq.com.

Thank you for the query. In my opinion, there is no further need for HIV tests. These are conclusive. You can go for an HIV antibodies test after six months of exposure to be relieved of anxiety.Thank you.

Hello doctor,

Still, antibodies test is required after six months to be conclusive?? Or are these enough?

Thank you.

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Thank you for the query. In my opinion, there is no further need for HIV tests. These are conclusive. You can go for an HIV antibodies test after six months of exposure to be relieved of anxiety.

Thank you.

Hello Doctor I have one doubt regarding testing. I came to about Group N and O of HIV , that these groups can’t be detected in Combo test. Is it true? 2. PCR TEST that I sent you earlier, detect these groups? 3. Which test can surely detect these groups?
Kindly reply ..

Please be not my exposer was with an African sex worker..
# Hi
Thank you for the query.
Most of the available antibodies tests detects antibodies for all HIV subtypes.
PCR detects genetic material of HIV not antigen related. So do not worry.
Stop worrying and searching in Google. You will get lots of information which will misguide you than guide you.
Antibodies test is conclusive after 6 months in your scenario. Go for it as suggested earlier.
Thanks for your guidance doc.


PCR detect genetic material of HIV , it means if it negative, it will be negative for all groups including N and P?

Elisa test will detect these groups? I’m planning to go for it at 6 months as you advised?

Today 176 days completed after exposer so now can I go to test suggested by you Or have to wait for 180 days.?


Please advise all these questions?
# Hi
Thank you for the query.
Yes antibodies test after 6 months or 180 days exposure is enough and conclusive. Be done with it.Go after 180 days .Can't you wait for 4 more days and be done with it.
PCR detects genetic component of HIV 1 or 2 depending on HIV 1 and 2 test. Do not worry about it now.

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