Please note that PCR test (viral load test) are neither approved or recommended for routine HIV testing, and it is not a test to confirm the absence of HIV infection.
It is done only in specific cases, where there is direct injection of HIV blood into the blood stream, which sometimes occurs in health care workers. It is not meant for people to check within the first 4 weeks post exposure, if they have HIV, after low risk exposures (unprotected intercourse, oral sex, etc).
Many individuals resort to doing such tests in the window period (before 4 weeks) to clear their anxiety, and testing centers may not advice them properly.
HIV infection can be ruled only by absence of HIV antibodies. In individuals with a low risk probability, screening with ELISA tests for HIV antibody, should be done after 4 weeks post exposure, and if found negative, should repeat it every 4 weeks until 12 weeks.
In specific cases, if the history of the patient and the risk associated appears to be low, at the discretion of the doctor, additional repeating of the tests can be avoided.
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