Dr. Tan and Partners is one of the few approved Anonymous HIV Testing Centres in Singapore. A detailed write up on our service is available here.

Other STD services: Early STD Screening, Rapid Hepatitis B Blood Test, Swab for Gonorrhea and many more... contact us to make an appointment now!

HIV RNA / DNA PCR Test – Nucleic Acid Amplification Testing (NAAT)


a.k.a Nucleic Acid Amplification Testing (NAAT)

The HIV RNA test has revolutionized HIV screening especially for people at high risk.

The test directly measures the amount of HIV virus in a person’s blood.

This same test is also used to monitor how a person with HIV is responding to treatment. When used this way, it is called a Viral Load test.

The HIV RNA test is deemed to be 100% conclusive if done after 10 to 12 days from the date of exposure.

Click on the picture for the latest information on the HIV testing Window Period

Click on the picture for the latest information on the HIV testing Window Period










There are some theories that say this test becomes less accurate from about 3 months post exposure. This is because at 3 months post exposure, the body would have made antibodies to fight the HIV virus. Therefore, the amount of virus in the blood may drop below the detection limit of the RNA test.

Acute HIV infection is very challenging to identify because its symptoms are not specific and antibody tests often are either still negative or indeterminate. However, this is also the time when an infected person is most contagious due to a high viral load. Detection of acute HIV infection not only enables us to counsel the patient on taking active steps to reduce transmission, it also enables us to better identify potentially infected partners as the time span we need to focus on is still relatively short.

Currently the vast majority of HIV tests are conducted using antibody tests. These include rapid tests such as Oraquick™ (Rockeby) and Determine™ (Abbott) and also conventional blood ELISA tests.

The limitation of antibody tests is the window period. Antibody tests may not be able to pick up HIV infections for up to 3 months after an individual is infected. This is far from ideal because this is exactly the period that a person is most infectious with the highest viral load. Acute HIV infection contributes disproportionately to HIV transmission due to its high viral load and negative antibody tests.

NAAT tests for HIV require only 10 days post exposure to be accurate. It is the only option for detecting HIV infection before seroconversion.

Click here for HIV Testing FAQ

Benefits of NAAT include:

  1. Earlier identification of infected persons leading to reduced transmission risks
  2. Facilitate partner identification, counseling and testing
  3. Early diagnosis leads to early initiation of follow up and treatment leading to better prognosis

However, NAAT increases the cost and turnover time for HIV testing.

A screening program for Acute HIV Infection using pooled NAAT was successfully conducted by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene1. Specimens from all patients whose rapid HIV antibody test was negative were tested by polymerase chain reaction in pools of 512 specimens. If the pool was positive, component specimens were tested to identify which specimen(s) contained HIV RNA. The report findings confirmed that pooled NAAT can increase Acute HIV Infection diagnoses among high risk STD patients. It can also be used to identify areas or populations in which HIV infection is spreading.

At our clinic the HIV RNA Test costs $600 excluding consultation charges and GST.

Our usual consultation charge is $35 making the total bill $679 ($600 + $35 + 7% GST).

The usual turnaround time is 2 weeks.

However, the Lab can conduct an expedited test for a surcharge of $100 ($107 with GST).

If you wish to have a HIV RNA test done, please come down to our clinic.

There is no preparation like fasting necessary.

Click here to see the full range of our HIV/STD Services

All Our Doctors are Fully Certified and Trained to conduct specialised STD and HIV Testing.


Need more advice?

Come down to Our Clinics for a discussion with Our Doctors, or call our clinics for more information:

1.) Robertson Walk (+65 6238 7810)

2.) Bencoolen Street (+65 6884 4119)

3.) Novena Medical Centre (+65 6397 2095)

4.) Scotts Medical Centre (+65 6694 2348)

5.) Somerset – Orchard Building (+65 6262 0762)

6.) Katong – East Coast Road (+65 6635 2551)

Where to find us – here

Click Here for Contact Details, Address and Opening Times.

Selected clinics are open on Saturday and Sunday.

Doctor’s Schedule here

Email: doctor@drtanandpartners.com

All prices quoted below excludes prevailing GST

Our Andrology and Infection Centre at Novena Medical Center is open.Call us at 63972095 now to book your appointment.Feel free to email your queries, feedback and suggestions on what other topics you want to see in the comments section below.If you have any questions, visit our free online forum on sexual health, HIV and STDs.1. CDC. MMWR, November 27, 2009/58(46);1296-1299

About Dr. Tan
Dr. Tan graduated from the National University of Singapore in 2001. His residency was in the two largest public hospitals in Singapore; Tan Tock Seng Hospital and Singapore General Hospital.

Find the profiles of our panel of doctors.

Consultation $20.00-80.00
Rapid test only $20.00
(not inclusive of test)
8am – 5pm $60.00
5pm – 9pm $80.00
STD screening
Standard HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis B/C, Herpes Simplex Virus Type I and II $ 200.00
Urine – Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea PCR, Monilia, Trichomonas, NSU, Mycoplasma, Ureaplasma, Urine Culture, Candida $ 280.00
Urethritis and Vaginitis
Vaginal Swab – Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea PCR, Monilia, Trichomonas PCR, Gardnerella PCR, Candida PCR, Group B StrepNSU, Mycoplasma, Ureaplasma, Direct Microscopy, Candida, Vaginal swab culture $ 345.00
Comprehensive (Male) Blood – Syphilis, Hepatitis B/C, Herpes Simplex Virus Type I and IIUrine – Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea PCR, Monilia, Trichomonas, NSU, Mycoplasma, Ureaplasma, Urine Culture, Candida $ 390.00
Comprehensive (Female) Blood – Syphilis, Hepatitis B/C, Herpes Simplex Virus Type I and IIVaginal Swab – Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea PCR, Monilia, Trichomonas PCR, Gardnerella PCR, Candida PCR, Group B StrepNSU, Mycoplasma, Ureaplasma, Direct Microscopy, Candida, Vaginal swab culture $ 525.00
Individual STD Tests
Determine Syphilis test Rapid Syphilis Test $ 50.00
Determine Hepatitis B Test Rapid Hepatitis B Test $ 50.00
Herpes Simplex Virus PCR Herpes Simplex Virus Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Test $ 190.00
Chlamydia and Gonoccocal PCR Chlamydia and Gonorrhea
Herpes Simplex Virus Type I IgG Antibody Herpes Type 1 $ 40.00
Herpes Simplex Virus Type II IgG Antibody Herpes Type 2 $ 40.00
Non-Specific Urethritis (NSU) Culture Mycoplasma, Ureaplasma $ 118.00
HIV test
HIV RNA/DNA Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Test $600
Add $100 for expedited results
Rapid Fingerprick Blood HIV-1/2 P24 Antigen/Antibody Combo (HIV Duo Test) (4th generation!) $ 150.00
Rapid Oral Saliva HIV-1/2 Antibody Test (Oraquick) $ 50.00
Rapid Fingerprick Blood HIV-1/2 Antibody Test (Determine) $ 50.00
PEP $2000 – $2200


  1. mehrdad


    Im and intern. i had 2 exposures. 1st one was a known case of hiv/hcv co infection for whom i inserted a chest tube while wearing latex gloves . there was no visible puncture on the glove or visble blood on my hand afterward.

    the 2nd one was a needle stick for a 13 year old boy with an insulin syringe. the boy result was negative on the 1st day and 20 day after the incident by 4th generation test.

    the problem is almost 6-9 days after needlestick(7 weeks after chest tube inserion) i started to show symptoms.

    swollen lymphnodes (generalize but mild)
    skin itching (no rash, just itching and redness after itching)
    no fever

    as now the symptoms are now going away after 3 weeks.

    i personally dont think that the needle stick is responsible because the boy was negative even after 20 days post exposure with 4th gen test and also the gap between exposure and symptoms was short (less than 10 days) which is unusal

    but the hiv/hcv positive man is my concern although i used gloves and there was no visible bleeding but the symptoms are very specefic.

    i tested qualitative RT-PCR on day 56 (16 after needlestick) which came back negative

    i tested 4th generation on days 47-60-70 (7-16-30 after needle) which came back negative.

    what is your opinion ?

    • I think you can be assured by your tests, and should not worry any more.

      • Mehrdad

        Thanks dr.

        Today i tested again with vidos hiv duo ultra which i think is considered one of the most sebsitive 4th generation kits availble.

        The result was negative (0.07)

        I still have those symptoms after more than 5 weeks post expusre (lymphadenopathy which sometimes get better and sometime worse). Pharyngitis is almost gone but general dizziness and extreme skin itching and redness (after itching) which seems to be related to histamin.

        Anyway im not getting any change even in the negative range of most sensitive tests. So i plan to check cd4 count and if it was ok i will forget about hiv(although its very difficult) and will digg on other possible causes (hay fever and malignancies)


  2. Hi, I had a occupational exposure, patient serology unknown. I did HIV1 RNA PCR at 9 days, came back negative. I did the same test at the same lab after 15 days, results came back as <2.0e1. Does it mean the same as negative or it might be a beginning infection?

  3. Dear Sir,

    Can HIV ELISA Result be affected by HSV 2 Infection at one month post exposure. anti HIV 0.2 Index CIMA, IgG HSV2 0.91.

    Pls guide

  4. James

    Hello Dr.

    I had unprotected sex with a women in Thailand. I returned to the USA and began to feel flu-like symptoms one week after the encounter. I had all symptoms listed by the CDC for ars. 5 weeks since encounter I still have swollen lymph nodes in neck and sore throat

    I have done the following tests:
    18 Days after exposure – HIV-RNA QUANT BY PCR – Not Detected – <=20 – Roche Cobas Ampliprep/Cobas TaqMan HIV-1 Assay
    24 days and 28 days after exposure – Alere Determine HIV-1/2 Ag/Ab Rapid test – Negative

    Do these seem like good results?

    I am wondering if you use the same tests in Asia, or are there better tests for detecting the HIV strands that are prominent in Asia, like CRF01_AE? I'm concerned the US tests may not be optimized to look for this strain

  5. Lee Lay Boon

    Hi doctor,

    My penis and anal feel abit itchy after a week. I plan to do the RNA testing tomorrow.

    However, Doing RNA testing would get the result on 2 week later and doing the normal testing after 28days would get the result in 20 mins.

    Which will be more accurate and better?

    • drtan

      Both tests are equally good if done at the right time. RNA PCR test after 10 days. 4th Gen Combo test after 28 days.

  6. Ayteko Zamira

    Hi sir! Can you please suggest anything regarding my case;
    Here are my tests that came negative: PCR RNA at 19th day, ELISA at 28th day, and HIV Vidas Duo Ultra antigen/antikor-hiv-1-2.
    After these tests I experienced skin rash and burning sensation in my hands and arms, feet and legs (especially under feet), and also burning in neck where exposed to sunlight. These parts of my body including face are very sensitive to cold and hot. Today a small rash emerged on my hand and it was painful, there is no change in the form of skin, it just gets red and give me pain when I touch it. Red spots over my legs are also make me afraid, as I didn’t experienced such a case before. My tongue is white for last 5 weeks, For another 2 weeks I had white plaques and some pain inside my mouth it’s gone now, but the tongue is still there. Beside these, I had muscle, joint and back ache between 1-4 weeks, I still suffer from it but it’s no longer so painful, just causes me to be lazy.

    To sum up, except for lymph nodes I have/had all the symptoms that CDC published on its website.

    I want to ask you how reliable my tests are? I have my tests in different test labs. Each lab assert that its own test is conclusive, whereas the others are not indicative of my status. The DR that did the last Duo test said that I don’t have HIV, AND That the PCR RNA and ELISA tests has no meaning for my status, he said that I wasted my money, but other labs think the same for the test that this DR suggests as conclusive.

    I didn’t mention any lab name, so please give me your suggestions based on all these. I am extremely confused and anxious. I just think that my next test will be positive, as I suffer from serious symptoms.

    Thank you in advance..

    • drtan

      I am not in a position to comment on the accuracy of your tests. The Doctor you saw already said you do not have HIV. I see no reason to think he is lying.

      I will point out to you that your symptoms are not specific to HIV. Many other diseases can cause your symptoms. I suggest you see a doctor and get properly diagnosed.

  7. catastrophe

    Hi Doctor,

    I’m on PEP medication after 29-hours of unprotected sex (insertive vaginal) with a csw. I would like to ask if the 4th gen combo test after my medication could give me a 95% confidence level? I have read from other site that pep will delay the seroconversion period.

  8. R Kalra

    Dear Sir, i had protected sex but had slippage of condom on 15th of March and immediately started PEP after 18 hours as instructed by the hiv specialist. Now he is asking me to do 4th generstion test even before completion of 28 days. Should i go for it.
    i tested for hiv 2 years ago and was negative. Since then i have not tested. Request you to please advise.

    • Hi,
      Perhaps you can speak to your doctor for more clarification. We will usually test after completion of PEP and 3 months post-exposure.

  9. Hi,

    one time encounter with resulted with the condom ripping on the side, not on the front. PCR test after 9 days negative, Elisa test after 4 week negative. I will of course do another elisa after 8 and 12 weeks. Do I still need worry?

  10. Hi Dr,

    i went to a sexual body massage on dated 27 Jan 2017, which the both of us naked, she rubbed her vigina aginst my penis, however no pentration, only hand job.

    If i plan to do HIV RNA test, can i say if i do the test tomorrow, 07 Feb 2017 consider 10days or more?

  11. hi.Dr,

    i had a body sexual massage on 27 jan 2017.

    Both myself and the lady were naked in which she rubbed her vagina against my penis, no pentration, only hand job. At i at risk?

    If i thinking of doing HIV RNA test, can i say if i decide to do the test at 07 Jan 2017 is consider 10 days post exposure?

    • The HIV RNA test is 100% conclusive if done after 10 to 12 days from the date of exposure. Since 7 Feb 2017 is 12 days from the date of exposure , you may proceed to do HIV RNA test .

      • Hi Dr,

        Based on my action, any high risk on my action?

        Both naked with her vagina rubbed against my penis, no pentration at all. only hand job.

      • Rick Wainio

        Hello doctor. Approximately 17 days ago I had a high risk sexual exposure (receptive unprotected anal). I’m unaware of the person’s status. 2 days after the encounter, my face felt warmer than usual and stayed that way for about 7 days. No fever and no other symptoms. I was tested for all STD’s including HIV on day 7 and all results came back negative. During this time, I developed severe anxiety and checked myself into the Emergency Room on day 8. All blood tests at the hospital checked out normal. On day 10, I had an HIV RNA qualitative test from Labcorp conducted and the test came back negative. I was relieved, but then on day 11, I hit my hand on the corner of the table, and it produced a rather large bruise… I very rarely bruise, so this has me a bit paranoid once again. Also, when I was in the ER, the nurse who was drawing blood punctured my vein which also caused a very large bruise on my forearm. I’ve been to 3 doctors in 9 days now and they all tell me my symptoms are anxiety and not HIV. The last doctor told me to trust the results of the RNA test. Could easy bruising be an early sign of early HIV infection? Could I be one of the few false negatives which slipped through? As of this time, I have no other symptoms besides the bruises from my hand hitting the table and from the blood draw. Any advice and information on this would greatly improve my mental state! Thank you so much!

        • drtan

          Are you serious? You hit your hand against the table, developed a bruise and think this is due to HIV? Have you taken a step back, read what you typed and asked yourself if you sound rational?

          Let me tell you: you do not sound rational. You sound paranoid. You sound like your irrational fear has taken over your rational thoughts.

          My advice: snap out of it. If you can’t, see a psychiatrist.

  12. I had an exposure of unprotected sex with a guy of unknown status. I took a RNA PCR and a HIV AB/AG test at 9 and 27 days post exposure, both negative. I misscounted my days and thought I was past the 28 day mark when I took it. Is there any reason I should be worried about the results turning positive later? (In my country we have to retest at 3 and 6 months regardless). My doctor will not advise me on this question which lead me here.

    Thank you again.

    • In my opinion your tests are very indicative that you are free from hiv.
      please note that we are unable to verify the accuracy for your test. for that, please ask the doctor who has done the test for you.

      However , I recommend you getting tested for STD as you had unprotected sex.

  13. Doctor Tan,

    How fast will HIV symptoms show itself?
    I gotten a flu but no fever after a protected sex about 4 days ago, the flu last for 1 day.
    Does the flu count as the HIV symptoms or just a normal flu.
    I planning to do a test on the 28 days.

    Thank you

  14. I suspect my ex has something and I contracted it because of multiple on going symptoms . I ve had 4 hiv combo tests all negative this is 2 and a half years post contact with him. Plus I recently had a baby and stored the cord blood and they conducted a pcr rna test on my maternal blood work which was not reactive. My question is if they took my maternal blood after the epidural would that affect the pcr results? I’m freaking out I don’t want my baby to be sick… and I’m very scared i have an immune disorder that I don’t know about and that’s why it’s not showing up in the blood work. I have contacted my ex and he says his tested negative but don’t really believe him. HELP. SHOULD I DO ANOTHER PCR?

    • I think you are over-reacting a bit. Do you have a logical reason to believe 4 HIV Combo test and a HIV PCR test 2.5 years post exposure are all wrong? If this is so then why would the next PCT test be right? Or the next? Or the next? Or the next 10 tests? How many tests do you want to undergo before you can convince yourself that you are free of HIV? I do not think you are being very logical. You should have a good talk with your doctor about your concerns.

  15. Marl soreston

    I had a nucleid acid test after 33 days of exposure and it came up negative I’m really tense even though the doctor told me that nat test is very accurate this anxiety is killing me what should I do?

  16. Helo sir. i had unprotected sex with a girl at 4 october 2016. I got the elisa test at 10 day after that. i got fever, sore throat, fatique, hard to shallow, cant consentrate. She also had test at 15 days after that. the result is negative. So should i repeat test again ? how about her result? can it be conclusive? She said that she dont have and already test in Thailand before. So what problem to my body? easy to get sick.

    • No HIV test on day 10 or day 15 is conclusive. If you are worried about HIV, do a HIV combo test on day 28 to be sure. Your symptoms are consistent with pharyngitis or tonsillitis. See a doctor to get yourself assessed and treated.
      Our locations

  17. ashok raj

    dr,i had protected unpenitrated sex with hiv prostitute unknwngly,but before she wore a condom she touched my penis and after penetration not in her vagina but on stomach after she taking of the condom from my penis she touched again.iam really freaking out due to my symptoms like dry mouth and tongue bumps and some iching sensation on my tongue .please help me with ur answer..and i had hiv pcr rna qualitative test at 33 days post exposre and also normal antibody test after 34 days exposre and anther antibody rapid test at 39 days exposre and all are nonreactive ..should i need another test or can i be stressless with these tests..plz answr

    • In my opinion your tests indicate that you are not infected with HIV. Please check with your doctor the conclusiveness of your tests. I am in no position to comment on that.

      • ashok raj

        thnku so much drtan for ur reply .but lastly one final douby plz try to answr that,when before she put a condom to my pennis i jst touched just outer part of her vagina just for 5 seconds i think i had touched outer part with my penis for about 2 seconds unknwngly and after that i again touched my penis with my hand .so my becz of these touchings iam afraid of hiv transmission and iam not sleeping from about one month after this exposure.plz tel me about my chances of hiv by these acts.and also lastly after 40 days i had hiv dna pcr qualitative proviral test it is negative.nd once again thnku in advance.

  18. Hi. I had protected sex with a hooker on 27th Aug and ran a HIV RNA PCR test on 7th September and the result came as negative. The condom didn’t break or slip but just like any other human being, I was worried. My first question is :-
    1. Have I done it on day 11 or day 12
    2. Is my result conclusive?

  19. Hello Doctor ,

    I had an recent exposure I have tested Negative in all tests can these tests be conclusive below are the tests done,

    Day 9 – 4thgen – Non Reactive- No STD’s
    Day 24- HIV RNA qualitative- Negative
    Day 41- 4thgen – Non Reactive- No STD’s

  20. Hi Dr Tan,

    Good afternoon, I have two question that I would appreciate if you could help to answer. I had unprotected insertive oral sex with a csw about 15 days ago. I ejaculated in her mouth and whilst I understand that this is neglible risk, I still took on PEP. There was a slight cut at the bottom of my penis prior to the act performed by her. It was not bleeding and the Csw had an ulcer in her mouth. I took on PCR RNA on the 10th day.

    1. Will I be at risk of getting HIV in this scenario?
    2. Will the result of the RNA test be affected by PEP?

    Please advise me Dr Tan. Thank you.

    • 1) Risk is low.
      2) PCR RNA is not the gold standard HIV test, although it is a good indicator of your HIV status. You should get yourself a 4th gen combo test after you complete PEP.

      • Hi Dr Sii,

        Thank you for your response, the PCR RNA test came back “not detected”. So in this case, it is a good indicator? And will taking the 4th gen combo test right after I complete PEP be conclusive?

        Please advise. Thank you.

  21. Hi DR, I had a sex with a women which is first time in my life, after 9 days i had 4th gen duo test which is negative and no STD’s were found and at day 25 I had pcr rna qualitative test which came negative can i move on from here .

    • A 9 days neither your 4th Gen test nor your STD tests are conclusive. At 25 days I would say the PCR RNA test is conclusive but take note that most countries do NOT validate the PCR RNA as a screening test for HIV. So please revisit your doctor.

      • Thank you doctor,For your response
        How accurate the Hiv rna qualitative results at day 24.I wrongly quoted as day 25 in my earlier message , as you said most countries do not validate, as i am in USA , I just want to know the accuracy of RNA test irrespective of the validation process Doctor.AS you are in singapore you please clarify that is there any difference in testing process of RNA qualitative or it is same in all countries.

  22. HI Doctor,

    I had an unprotexted sex with a women , I have tested pcr rna qualitative test at day 25 which came out Negative and on day 9 Antigen and antibody test was conducted (negative)in which no STD’s were found , can i move on from here.

  23. Hello Doctor,

    I had a one of insertive anal sex encounter with a transgender sex worker. I have asked her about her status — she said she doesn’t have anything. I am out of the 72 hours windows — so PEP won’t work for me if am not mistaken, I tried to obtain it but wasn’t able to. I am in my 10th day after the encounter, please advise me on my next step.

    1. When and where can I see you for the test after 28 days?
    2. Do I have a great chance of not getting infected? Stats says that there is a 1% chance of getting it?

    Thanks in advance for your time.

    • 1. You can visit any one of our clinics. All our clinics offer the rapid 4th Gen HIV test.
      2. The risk of getting HIV from insertive anal sex is very low. I would say even less than 1%.

  24. Hello doctor,

    I had a one of unprotected insertive anal sex with a transgender hooker. I have asked her repeatedly before hand if she was anyways infected — she said no. The encounter was brief (couple of minutes) and I did not ejaculate inside. I am in my 10th day after the encounter. I wasn’t able to acquire the PEP treatment.

    1. What should my next step be? When is the earliest I can come and see you for a test? I was thinking of the RAPID HIV COMBO test.
    2. I heard that the chances of even contracting hiv is pretty low (less than 1%) so in your professional opinion I do have a good chance here?
    3. Which clinic and when is the most appropriate time for me to see you?

    Thank you in advance. Appreciate you taking the time to answer my inquiries.

  25. Hello Doctor
    After an exposure with a csw I was put on PEP and took the following tests 3 months after exposure (2 months after the last dose of PEP)
    1. Negative DUO Ag/Abdul
    2. Negative Western Blot
    3. PCR RNA Cobas Lower than 20 copies but it doesn’t say NOT DETECTED
    Am I HIV free?

  26. Parranoid

    Dear Doctor,

    I am so very sorry to bother you – but I am loosing my mind. I am even under care of psychiatrist now just off the suicide watch. I was sexually assaulted. I have no idea of status of the man. It was vaginal penetration. On Day 14 post exposure I had HIV-1 RNA Qnt RT-PCR (result less than 41) and HIV 1/2 ab differentiation immunoassay – negative. I had same tests repeated on day 27 – I don’t have detailed report but doctor said they are both negative. My doctor keeps repeating like mantra that I have to test at 6, 8, and 12 weeks. And now I seem to have low grade fever in and off (37.3 orally) and can’t eat , loosing weight, and just “don’t feel well”. Am I in the clear or do I need to keep testing? Are my symptoms just the nerves? Everything on line is SO conflicting! Please help – I am besides myself. Worst off – I can’t bring myself up to tell my boyfriend about this – and I don’t know how long I can keep coming up with excuses to not be close with him. Please! Thank you so much!!!

    • I am very very sorry to hear of what happened to you. I personally absolutely abhor sexual violence. I do hope that man who did this to you will be brought to face justice soon. As for your HIV status, in my opinion, the HIV-1 RNA test at 14 days is already conclusive. So as far as my opinion goes, I do not see any reason for you to still be worried. However, you must understand that this is only an online forum. I am not your doctor. You must listen to the advice of your doctor. Since he has determined that you need repeat testing up to 12 weeks, you should follow that advice. I hope he has also screened you for other STDs and pregnancy.

  27. Gillidean

    Hai Dr Tan, I had unprotected anal sex on the 13 of May and i went for NAT test on the 13 June (30 day post exposure)The Results is Non reactive. would you consider conclusive?
    1) The 30th day are excluded for blood collection and send to the lab .

  28. Mahesh

    Sir I got tested for hiv pcr rna after 30
    Days which is negative and befor that I used lot of antibiotics for other issues like urinary infection and slight cold

    Will that affect pcr rna reports ? I mean pcr is not false negative ?

  29. Hi sir I am male 30years old i give blow job a sex worker which was women after that exploser 18th day test rna pcr and antibody test negative the test how much accurate

  30. Edward

    Dear Dr. Tan,

    I had a PCR test 14 days after exposure at your clinic and the result is negative. I did another 4th Gen combo test at 17th day the result is also negative.
    Can I consider it is conclusive and move on?

    Thank you!

    • Yes it is conclusive. Stop wasting money on tests. Instead go watch Warcraft in Gold Class.

    • It is a good indicator that you have not been infected. It is best to get a combo test done on day 28 to be sure.

      • Thank you Doctor.
        I did another 4th-gen test on day 36 and result was also negative.
        Now it’s over 3 months, do I have to take a final test?

  31. Brian

    i had a RNA TMA QL APTIMA gen prob test 14 days post exposure Is this still reliable ? And conclusive ?

    • drtan

      Generally speaking NAAT like RNA are accurate from 10 days post exposure. You should verify the accuracy of your results with the doctor who did it for you.

  32. EDlane

    I have been losing 25# with diarreah, and fatigue and pain in my hands and feet. I feel like i am wasting. I have taken 6 Elisa test HIV1/2/O all negative (3 in the last 6 months) and HIV 1 RNA and HIV 2 RNA both not detected. Any possible exposure for me would have been over 20 years ago as unprotected sex , Can I rule out late stage HIV infection/ AIDS?

    • drtan

      You are obviously very sick. You are also obviously not infected with HIV. Please see your doctor and find out what is causing your symptoms. Do not let an obsession with HIV delay your actual diagnosis and treatment.

  33. monty 29

    Dr you said to me I am not infected but why these lot of symptoms after that exposure
    3-4 weeks after exposure body feverish, diarrhoea for 4 days 5-6 timein a day,throat pain ,redness in throat, blister on both side of tongue painless, pearly penile papules, sleeplessness, occasionally headache, after 5 weeks severe headache for 1-2 hours, moisture on inside the foreskin of panis went to dr after 6 weeks he gave me antibiotics and antifungal cream for penis after that my tongue become thick and white coated now only 3 day short to complete one year my exposure on 10 may 2015,
    Sir don’t ignore and please reply in details
    1) If my body is not producing antibody to hiv in that case hiv RNA pcr viral load after 7.5 months of exposure wil positive or not my test was not detected and sensibility of the test was more than 20 copies
    2)if i am not infected why i have got lot of problems afyer that which i have never got before
    3) is it possible i am infected but tests can not pick it up
    4) 1 have took 20 antibody test and my last test was at day 359 is all test are false negative sir don’t say for psychologist because my symptoms are not psychological and i have started the test after 25 days of exposure and almost two every months
    5)sir i am going to leave next month and will live with my wife and don’t want to infect her can i start my sexual relation with her without protection after all these problems or not
    6) which type of hiv test i have to take
    sir i am asking because you are an expert of this field so dont mind and reply immediately and also tested for HCV after 11 weeks,VDRL 6,18,26 weeks HBSag 11,26 weeks all are negative sir please save my life and give your precious time to me to reply my questions God will bless
    you Sir i am ready for result but don’t want to infected my wife will my result going to be change please explain sir not give short answer i am still living because of you four to five sucidal attempts
    Sir please please please dont ignore and reply keep in mind my wife

  34. Is the HIV RNA Quantitative PCR test the same test you are referring to? Is it accurate after 10 days as well?

    • Yes it is. It is also often referred to as the HIV viral load.

      • if i tested at 14 day after expose with 4th with abbott cmia method negative result ..can i confident with the result

  35. Will HIV-1 PCR RNA qualitative test show the presence of HIV if my exposure was 5 years ago and I’m negative on ELISA 3D and 4Th gen tests?

  36. Damarcus

    I had the RNA test did exactly at 10 days which is two days from 10? Do you think I’m out the clear??

  37. Dr,
    is a HIV NAT test carried out 15 days after exposure conclusive? I read in the article that it’s accurate after 10 to 12 days.


    • Yes it is.

      • Dr.
        Sorry to disturb you. Could it be possible that HIV virus still “hide” from HIV RNA test detection at 15 days exposure?


          • Dr.
            I have undergone the following tests:
            1. 16th Day exposure – (HIV RNA test, HIV NAT test and Rapid 4th Generation test) – all of which Negative.
            2. 23rd Day exposure – (HIV RNA test) – Negative.
            3. 30th Day exposure – (laboratory 4th Gen combo test) – Negative.

            Do you think these tests are conclusive?

            I have recently been experiencing peeling of skin on my finger tips – could this possibly be a symptom of HIV infection?

            I would really appreciate your opinions on this. As i am really freaking out, could all those tests i have undergone failed to detect the infection previously?

            Thank you

          • Based on your test results, you do not have HIV. Please move on.

  38. Dear Dr,

    First of all many thanks for your great work and time,here I am looking for your help to understand my HIV test result,I took hiv duo and hiv pcr rna qualitative test after one year from possible exposure,HIV duo result is negative,but I am not able to understand my Rna pcr qualitative result,I got result as below,

    HIV 1 Rna pcr qualitative- ‘Not detectable’

    In interpretation they have mentioned as below,

    A ‘Positive’ result indicates hiv 1 infection in the individual.

    ‘Not detectable’ result indicates absence of hiv infection or individual is with viral copeies less than 20cps/ml.

    My questions are,

    1.What my ‘Not detectable’result indicates whether I am hiv 1 positive or negative?

    2.Most of the labs used to mentioned ‘Not detected’but my result is ‘Not detectable ‘it makes any difference technically?

    3.my HIV tests are conclusive?do I need to repeat my HIV test?


    • I’m sorry. I really cannot bring myself to answer your question. The reason is your questions are so fundamental I am surprised and frankly shocked that they were not addressed by the doctor who did your test for you. So please bring your test back to your doctor and ask him/her for proper medical advice.

      • Sorry Doctor Tan, this test myself I have taken in a lab, result was mentioned ‘ NOT DETECTABLE’,

        in interpretation part they have mentioned ‘NOT DETECABLE’ result indicates absence of hiv infection or less than 20copes/ml.

        Please may I know as per this test report indicates NEGATIVE OR POSITIVE status?


  39. SoScared

    Hi Doctor. I am going out of my head. Exactly 26 days ago I fooled around with a man (I am a woman). He is heterosexual, about 50, non IV drug user, but I don’t think he has the safest sex. He believes that heterosexual men rarely contract the disease from women, so, it makes him…not very cautious. When we messed around, he put his penis in me for about 3 or 4 thrusts, unprotected, but I pushed him off and that was it. I noticed that when I was giving him oral he had zero precum. Very dry. It’s probably wishful thinking to believe that this reduces my chances of infection. He also says he is negative but I don’t believe that he has really been tested. I want to get tested now, but I am terrified, and I’m not sure if the test will even be conclusive at this point. I am so terrified that my whole life has been ruined for the past 26 days. All I do is cry. I shake uncontrollably. I am CERTAIN I contracted HIV, and my whole world is shattered and ruined. I want to get tested, but I’m terrified of the result. What is my risk factor? What test should I take and when. My life is ruined, and I keep thinking that my panic around this HIV possibility is not just nerves but a premonition. PLEASE HELP ME.

    • Woah. You really need to take a deep breath and calm down. First of all, you don’t know if he has HIV or not. Secondly, even if he did, your risk of catching it is probably about 1%. Get a rapid combo test done at 28 days to calm your mind. Click here for more info on the Combo test. Also test for all other STDs. Meanwhile, you really need to relax. It is still more likely that you are NOT infected with HIV.

  40. Hi doctor,

    Im gay top. i went to sauna in Bangkok last week. I have sex with male.
    He using Beard and Mustache around my penis for 5 mins and smell my cock.
    I remember he lick my head of penis once time. next day i have pain in my cock.

    Do you think that i have risk for hiv?
    and if he put blood from ance ,Do you think i have risk for hiv?

    after this situation i have hiv test

    Naat – non reaction ( 11 days)
    Anti hiv combo – non reaction ( 11 days)

    Do i need a further test?

    Thank you for your help

  41. I took a hiv nat test 17 days after possible exposure. I had unprotected oral sex( receiving end) my test results non reactive. Am i conclusive the person in the clinic told me I may have tested a little too early. Pleaae help.

  42. Hi dr, is the pcr rna test conclusive after 11 or 12 days from the exposure? Thks and regards. Is the day of expose consider 1 day expose.? I.e expose on 1 jan and 28days will be at 28 jun?

  43. hi Dr
    i had 2 hiv tests :
    1. Hiv-1 RNA (Real Time PCR) at 24 days, the result : Virus undetected
    2. Hiv ag/ab Combo (CMIA) test at 33 days, the result : Non reactive 0.22

    are these tests conclusive? do i need further test?

    thank You

  44. I had a NAT test in the US (L.A.) at about 11.5 days after a possible exposure and it was negative. From looking at your website and comments, it looks like you’d say that’s conclusive, but the person at the clinic said the window was more like 2-3 weeks. Why the discrepancy? How conclusive are you able to say it is?

    • I really don’t know why they will tell you 2 to 3 weeks. You need to ask them that. In my view it is conclusive.

  45. Hello dr,

    First of all thanks for your excellent works.

    1.Please may I know Which is best test to deduct hiv for adults, RNA PCR or DNA PCR?

    2.both are totally different techniques?

    3.if some one is negative with elisa antibody ,p24 antigen and HIV RNA PCR tests after 6 months from exposure,these results are 100% conclusive?


    • Dr Justin Sim

      PCR RNA is better as it tends to be more readily available but both are accurate. Explaining the techniques is a little difficult as the science behind them is quite deep. And yes at 6 months both tests are conclusive.

  46. Joshua

    Hi Dr,

    I am a straight 25 yr old who was just lonely for 2 yrs after a breakup and foolishly tried to have sex with a man.

    I recieved anal sex for the 1st time 3 days ago from this guy i met from a website. He insisted that he had no stds or hiv and wanted me to be clean as well.

    We used a condom. I told him that he should only cum on my body and not insider of me even if the condom was on.

    When he wanted to cum he took out the condom normally. And proceeded to wank off. He did not complain abt condom breakage whatsoever.

    I have never seen a breakage nor did i check to see if the condom is broken.

    Am i at risk of HIV? I am paranoid. None to talk to cos i am pretty straight and this foolish thing is causing me misery.

    • Using a condom reduces the risk of HIV transmission significantly, but condom is not 100% safe. If you are worried, you can get yourself tested.

  47. Doctor,

    I will keep trying to ask my question. Please help! I have a question regarding my HIV test. I took both tests the same day, roughly 9 weeks post exposure.

    HIV-1 RNA Qualitative – Negative

    3rd Generarion Antibody
    HIV 1/O/1 – <1.00 (Negative)
    HIV 1/O/2 – Non Reactive

    Are these results considered conclusive? I was told the HIV-RNA was 99% after 3 weeks but I've heard conflicting information. One clinic mentioned HIV RNA test is less effective beyond 8 weeks. Are there false negatives?

    • HIV RNA is. 3rd generation test is not (it is only conclusive after 12 weeks). Why don’t you ask the doctor who did the test for you?

  48. Doctor Tan,

    I had a Qualitative PCR test at 13 days post potential exposure and it came back NEGATIVE. Would you consider that result conclusive?

    Thank you.

    • Dr Justin Sim

      Yes the PCR RNA test will be conclusive at 10 days or more from exposure.

      • Hi doctor,

        I have multiple peripgerical neuropathy symptoms like feet and hand tingling, prickling and numbness also body twitching from 6th week of hiv exposure. I have tested negative for p24 antigen and antigen test (done seperately in same laboratory on 32 and 33 days). Also negative 4th generation duo test at 6, 8 and 10 weeks. Negative DNA PCR test at 9 weeks. Am I still at risk and need more test ?

        • I do not see how all those tests can be wrong. If you have a logical reason to doubt the accuracy of your tests I suggest you take it up with the doctor who did the tests for you. I also strongly suggest you see a neurologist about your persistent peripheral neuropathy.


  1. HIV testing in pregnant women | HIV - […] HIV RNA PCR – don’t worry about the full name of this test, it is quite a tongue twister.…

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