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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 and last reviewed on: Jul 28, 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 Prednisolone 5 mg daily for the past year. Can Prednisolone delay the antibodies? Are these results conclusive, or do they need to be repeated at six months? Kindly help.

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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 even 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. Kindly revert for more queries.

Thank you.


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.

Hi doctor,

Thanks for your reply.

I have one doubt regarding testing. I came to know about Group N and O of HIV , that these groups cannot be detected in Combo test. Is it true? PCR TEST that I sent you earlier, detect these groups? Which test can surely detect these groups? Please help.

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I understand your concern.

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 searcing online. You will get lots of information which will misguide you than guide you. Antibodies test is conclusive after six months in your scenario. Go for it as suggested earlier.

Hello doctor,

Thanks for your reply. PCR detect genetic material of HIV, it means if it is negative, it will be negative for all groups including N and P? ELISA (enzyme linked immuno sorbent assay) test will detect these groups? I am planning to go for it at six months as you had suggested. 176 days completed after exposure so now can I go to test suggested by you or have to wait for 180 days more? Please help.

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I understand your concern.

Yes, antibodies test after six months or 180 days exposure is enough and conclusive. PCR (polymerase chain reaction) detects genetic component of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) 1 or 2.

I hope this helps.

Hello Doctor,
As per your advise I got tested at 6 months and It was non reactive after that I started unprotected sex with my wife to have a baby. I tested again at 9.5 months because as you know I was worried about group N infection and report came negative.

Now after one month at 14-04-2022, of unprotected sex with my wife I test my wife with Abott Architect HIV combo test with non reactive and index was 0.18. In this period we had sex almost 3-4 times.

Again at 11-05-2022 she got tested but the index value was 0.8 . Lab said it is non reactive but I’m worried about this change in index value which is little high. In this period again we had sex 3-4 time and all are unprotected.

Now I have below concern.

1. P24 antigen can be again detected at 9 month of hiv is not treated? As I read Abott Architect HIV combo test can detect group N/P infection.

2. Should I go again for further HIV test for my wife?


Please reply
# Hi
Thank you for the follow up query.
These tests are conclusive .
Do not worry about HIV and types and tests.
I do not see any need for further HIV tests for you or your wife.
Thanks for your reply. But sir this variation in index value I.e, from 0.18 to 0.80 is not any issue?

What it went high in only one months?
This is for your info that she is 9 weeks pregnant now
# Titles can vary .As long it is negative it is negative.

Titres

I do not see need for you to worry about HIV if there is no other risk exposure history
Sir I asked you that if someone infected and remains untreated then P24 antigen again will be detectable??
As I know it can’t be detected after 2 months of infection?
# P24 antigen need not be detectable after some months of exposure but antibody will be detected.The HIV combo or duo test has both antigen and antibodies detection in it.
Do not worry about all that.
Thanks doc . One more concern I have and that is about the risk of hiv at barbershop. Sometimes in rush barbers doesn’t change blade or razor and use the same razor/ blade for other costumer as well. In this situation it can be cause of infection? HIV can transmit through cuts??

Can it be transmitted through small cuts or small scraps on skin due to old blades or razor?
# Yes. it can be transmitted through reuse of blades in barber shops.
See that he changes blades before use. Usually they change
So I need to be tested because I didn’t notice him to Change the blades ?
# You can confirm with him if he has changed blade. If you are anxious then you can go for test

But sir as I read on internet articles and experts comments, HIV virus cannot be alive outside of the host body and die immediately. Is it like that?

# HIV can survive outside body for few minutes

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