Q: I am afraid that I have been exposed to HIV in the past 6 weeks. I had unprotected sex with someone that may have the virus. Although I do not know for sure if he has HIV, I would rather not depend on his word alone. I have been trying to find a test that will provide me with early detection and accurate results. My research has led me to your company and the HIV PCR test. Can you tell me more about the accuracy of HIV PCR test that you offer? I need results that I can rely on so I can put my mind at ease.
A: The HIV DNA PCR is a great option in your case. While it can cost more than traditional antibody testing, the test is considered conclusive for anything more than 28 days ago. As opposed to detecting your body’s response to the virus, which can take 6-12 weeks to provide reliable results, the PCR looks directly for the pro-viral DNA of the virus. The DNA is rapidly replicated after infection and can be detected very early on with the PCR.
If you are concerned about a exposure to HIV, the best thing you can do is seek testing. We offer testing across the country, and appointments can be made as early as the day you call. Simply register over the phone, provide the blood sample, and then receive results a few days later. All of our testing is private and confidential. Please call our office to speak with a test expert if you have any questions or would like to arrange for testing.