Originally Posted: 
Saturday, August 11, 2012
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WILL HIV & Proviral DNA PCR test will give a correct result after 5 days of exposure?



Hi There,


Thank you for using AIDS Vancouver as your source of HIV/AIDS related information. 


The proviral DNA is detectable within a window period of 2-3 weeks after an infection with a DNA PCR test.  If you had a test 5 days after exposure, it is not possible for the test to pick up on the genetic material as it takes time for the viral RNA (which is the initial form of the HIV virus) to convert to viral DNA. Another reason why any test at 5 days is difficult in detecting HIV is that it can take up to 3 days for that exposure to turn into an infection. Thus, you would not be HIV+ until possibly 3 days post exposure, making testing so soon after a possible exposure not very reliable.  It is still recommended that you get retested at 12 weeks in order to adhere to international testing guidelines for a conclusive result. However, a negative result after 2-3 weeks with a DNA PCR test is a good indication of your status and will most likely not change. 


Please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions. 


In Health,


AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer


Phone (Mon-Fri 9-4pm): (604) 696-4666


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The AIDS Vancouver Helpline is a volunteer-driven information, referral and support service related to HIV and sexual health. Volunteers are trained in active listening, HIV and sexual health information, and local resources and services. Volunteers are not doctors, nurses, or other licensed professionals. Volunteers do not give advice, and strive to provide service-users with adequate information and appropriate referrals.

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