Q. Is ELISA test taken after 12 weeks of exposure conclusive?

Answered by
Dr. Ravinder Kaur Sachdeva
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Mar 16, 2020

Hi doctor,

I had sex with CSW. I had sex two times, and each time I wore two condoms, which was intact after sex but appeared that it had come a little front from my body side. I also filled water in the condom before throwing and confirmed that it had no breakage as water did not come out. She had bit me near ear and the next day a mosquito bit me at the same place and I had a swelling there for some two days. Due to anxiety, I started having Bromhexine (for mucus) syrup and Ulgel-A (antacid). I also lost weight during this time. I had taken a liver protection injection later. I underwent an HIV Elisa test (12 weeks after sex, 89 days after sex), the result was negative. Would Bromhexine, Ulgel or liver protection injection interfere with the Elisa test? Or can I consider this test as conclusive?

Later, I got two swellings one in my hand other in my neck. The swelling in the neck went off in two days. Again I get some sort of swelling in hand and in the leg a small size lump appeared, and it disappeared within few hours. I am noticing this happening frequently from three days, however, two of such lump have turned red.

Earlier, I used to get infected very easily by cold and throat infection even before I had sex. Could that be a pre-existing immunodeficiency?

Given all this, can I conclude that HIV Elisa test (12 weeks after sex, 89 days after sex) as conclusive? Or should I have another test after six months? Please help.

Dr. Ravinder Kaur Sachdeva

HIV/AIDS Specialist


Welcome to icliniq.com.

Let me answer your question step by step:

1) Your chances of contracting HIV or for that matter any other STI (sexually transmitted infection) was non-existent with the consistent and corrective use of a condom.

2) You had mentioned that there was a slight slippage of the condom and it is assumed that you had a low risk of contracting HIV or any other STI if the other person will be having it.

3) The ELISA testing kits for HIV used these days are highly sensitive and specific and gives accurate results.

4) Your negative HIV test at three months of exposure is highly conclusive of your negative HIV status.

5) Majority (99.9%) of the people who are infected with HIV after exposure, develop antibodies by three months. So, your negative test result is quite reassuring.

6) There are very rare cases of late seroconversion or positive antibody response at six months has also been reported in the literature.

7) There are recommendations and I also suggest to my patients to repeat the rapid HIV antibody test at six months of last exposure and if that will be negative, you need not to repeat it further.

8) The symptoms which you have mentioned could be due to various other causes or just due to anxiety also. There are no HIV specific symptoms or signs.

Relax, as you have crossed three months hurdle. I suggest you to get your routine hemogram, biochemistry, fasting blood sugar, thyroid profile and lipid profile done.

I hope this helps.

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