Q. My friend tested HIV negative after a month of possible exposure. Should he repeat the test?

Answered by
Dr. Ravinder Kaur Sachdeva
and medically reviewed by Dr. Preetha J
This is a premium question & answer published on Nov 17, 2020

Hi doctor,

Here I am writing for my friend. He had intercourse with a CSW last year. He used a condom while having sex, and he touched her private parts with his finger and touched on his penis with the same finger; and one month later, he had gone through a random check of HIV in the laboratory with the advice of a doctor, and the results came as negative. And still, he has not gone for any other contacts. Now it has been a year. Is that negative result trusted? Because he has read in some articles that a second test should also be useful to reconfirm the same? Is that required? Or the earlier test is enough? And is there any possibility of transmitting HIV while touching her private parts and touching his penis with the same hands? And one more doubt that while having sex without a condom, the HIV can be transmitted only through the vaginal contact of the penis or, as above mentioned, like touching vagina with finger and touching the penis with the same hands?



Welcome to icliniq.com.

The answers to your queries are:

1) If the condom had been used consistently and correctly and there was no break or slippage, the risk of acquisition of HIV (human immunodeficiency) and other STIs (sexually transmitted infection) is nonexistent.

2) HIV cannot be transmitted by touching genitals with hands. There needs to be sexual contact (exchange of body fluids) with an HIV infected person for the virus to be transmitted.

3) The recommendations are to get the first HIV rapid test at 3 to 4 weeks of unprotected exposure and if the result is negative, get a confirmatory HIV antibody test at three months of last exposure. And, if there is no further exposure, no more test for HIV is required.

4) If the condom had not been used, there can be a low risk of acquiring HIV during sexual contact with HIV infected persons. This is more so if the partner (assuming to be infected with HIV) is not on any anti-retroviral therapy.

5) Again, just touching the genitalia of a partner with hands can not transmit HIV; however, it could be a potential source for other STIs.

6) In your friend's history, if the last contact was protected, and there is no further exposure, an HIV test at three months of previous exposure will be considered conclusive. Dates of exposure and the HIV test date, you can confirm from your friend.

I hope your queries are answered, but if you have any other questions, please revert.

Best wishes.

Hi doctor,

Thanks for your response.



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Please let me know if there is any further information required.

Hi doctor,

Thank you for your reply.

As you said, he had that intercourse and tested as per the laboratory two months later. And after that, he does not have any exposure to the date. So hope that results in enough?



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

It is good that the first test is negative. 95% of people who have been exposed to HIV and get infected develop positive antibody response at 3 to 4 weeks of exposure, and almost all who are infected show positive results by three months. In this case, a confirmatory HIV test after three months of last exposure has not been done. This could have been done any time after two months. I suggest to get a confirmatory rapid HIV antibody test from an accredited laboratory as per the test recommendations. There is no harm in that.

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