Q and A


Will SSRI antidepressants affect seroconversion or HIV test results?

I read a research article that posits that SSRIs (antidepressants) decrease HIV replication and downregulate RT [reverse transcriptase] response:

My question is this: if SSRIs decrease HIV replication and downregulate RTresponse and so on, does it mean it has the same effect as the PEP, which means it could delay seroconversion?

Please read the research and let me know if SSRIs have the same effect as PEP on an HIV test.



Thanks for your question.

It is complicated to understand the implications of this research paper.

Although some of the associations are interesting, I don’t think they would affect the dynamics of HIV infection in the way you are worried about.

Although these factors might affect risk of infection, I do not think they would affect the outcome of HIV test.

This Q&A service is mainly focused on HIV treatment rather than testing – see:

You could perhaps email the researchers for their views.


  1. Josh Peasegood

    Hi Luke, your results are accurate. You do not have HIV. As mentioned, SSRIs do not effect tests and these are still reliable. Please follow this link for more information about testing: https://i-base.info/qa/factsheets/hiv-transmission-and-testing

  2. Luke

    After reading this study, I’m a little worried about SSRI’s and their effect on both 4th and 3rd generation lab tests.

    I had a possible hetrosexual exposure not long before Christmas with a woman of unknown status.

    Over the period of a few days (maybe 3 days total) prior to this exposure, I took some Sertraline (100mg per day) as this helps with premature ejaculation. I did not continue taking sertraline after this event.

    On day 39 after the possible exposure I took a finger-prick blood sample which was then sent to an NHS lab and tested on day 43 using a 4th generation test. RESULT – NEGATIVE

    I then also took a 3rd generation self test at home on day 45. RESULT – NEGATIVE

    Is it possible that taking this medication either long-term or in my case, even over a few days prior to the exposure would in anyway interfere with the test results for both 4th and 3rd gen lab tests, and the 3rd gen home test?

    Does this medication also reduce/delay the amount of p24 antigen in the early stages of infection?

    How confident can I be in my results at the moment?


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