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HIV and AIDS

What Effects Will The Steroid Deca Have On HIV Results?

09/20/2004

Question:

Hi, 5 months ago I had unprotected sex with an active girl and became paranoid that I had caught something. 3 weeks later I got checked for a bunch of dieases and HIV. Everything came back negative. I recently discovered that there is a window period where you will test negative no matter what. So now it is 5 months later and I am getting another test and awaiting the results. A month ago (since I am a student athlete being recruited for a sport) I took a cycle of the steroid Deca.

The needles were new and everything was fine, but I'm worried that the remnents of the steroid may effect the HIV test because I know Deca can have a positive effect on the Immune system. Will the cycle I took a month ago mask the HIV strand if I am positive? Will it effect the test in any way? Please let me know. Thank you.

Answer:

Steroids do not mask antibody responses to HIV. If you have HIV infection it will show up on routine blood tests despite the use of steroids. Most people recommend HIV testing at 3, 6 and 12 months after exposure to be certain that you are negative. On another topic, use of anabolic steroids to build muscle mass is a pretty risky business. You may want to look into this a bit more or consult your doctor. There are some long term side effects that may not be worth the spot on the team.

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Response by:

Carl   Fichtenbaum, MD Carl Fichtenbaum, MD
Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati