Re: ARS - Seeking opinions until I can get tested
As many of us have been in your situation we can all understand your concern. Reading your post it looks like you are 10 days out from your “potential exposure” this is a tad bit early and as Apollo and Joggen have said early to test. The updated US standard for testing is baseline, three weeks and three months. If both 3 weeks and 3 months are negative then you are not infected.
If your anxiety is overwhelming there are other options, again not the “gold standard” however. At two weeks a p24 duo test, RNA PCR or DNA PCR would identify most early infections, especially if you are having symptoms as symptoms are a sign of immune response. If your immune system is responding you are creating antibodies.
An RNA PCR is not FDA approved for diagnostics in the United States. However, the RNA or DNA PCR are highly used around the world in places like England and Australia. At 10 days and RNA PCR is highly accurate as in early infection the virus is multiplying rapidly. At 4 weeks the combination of a negative PCR, P24 or antibody test is a pretty good indication of your status. If you wait for an antibody test alone, 4 weeks is a good indication, 6 weeks is highly reliable and 12/13 weeks (don’t get caught up on what is 3 months”) is conclusive.
If you have a true concern about your exposure I encourage you to reach out to a medical professional. None of us posting on this board are doctors and you should take what each of us write at that, our opinion, rooted in information from our experiences. Seeking medical advice from an online community, well it may be comforting, should not be a substitute for real medical attention. I would encourage you to reach out to a local department of health or clinic and discuss your risk and exposure with them so they can assess your risk and advise you how/ when to begin testing.
Please know there is support on the boards here and always know someone will write back. I encourage you to take a deep breath and continue living you life. Don’t waste time searching HIV information on the internet it will only fuel your anxiety; Dr. Google is less reliable than any of us.
Best of health. If you need anything write back, most of us will reply.