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Q. Are my HIV tests, which were done after six weeks of possible exposure, reliable?

Answered by
Dr. Rajesh Deshwal
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jul 07, 2017 and last reviewed on: Nov 19, 2021

Hello doctor,

I am a 20 year old male. Recently, I have had a high-risk possible HIV exposure. Specifically, a receptive anal sex with a guy whom I do not know the status. After a week, I did feel fatigue, sore throat and after 4 to 5 weeks of the exposure, I think I have swollen lymph nodes. I can palpate several lymph nodes around my neck, which is not painful. But after another week, I have had painful jaw, which I think is due to a swollen lymph node. Also at that time, I have an erupting wisdom tooth, which I suspect the reason for it.

Almost six weeks after exposure, I had a rapid HIV antibody test in a clinic, which was non-reactive. I did have another test the next day a home test kit (finger prick tests), which was also negative. I am really worried now and feel very restless. I am also an OCD person. Therefore, this incident really affected my daily routine. Are my results after six weeks reliable?

#

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

  • Your tests appear to be reliable. Just relax and get this test repeated at 12 weeks post-exposure for final surety. Best wishes.

For further queries consult an HIV AIDS specialist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/HIV-AIDS-specialist

Thank you doctor,

But, is rapid HIV antibody test reliable at six weeks? Is it possible to be positive after 12 weeks?

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

  • The rapid HIV test can pick up antibodies in 95 to 96 % cases by six weeks, but 3 to 4 % cases have delayed antibody formation, which surely occurs by 12 weeks. That is why I have asked for 12 weeks post-exposure test to be absolutely certain. Good luck.

For more information consult an HIV AIDS specialist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/HIV-AIDS-specialist

Hi doctor,

Thank you for replying. I am also taking various vitamins and antibiotics. Can it affect the window period of my test results?

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

  • No, it will not affect the HIV tests and the window period. Just relax. Good luck.

For further queries consult an HIV AIDS specialist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/HIV-AIDS-specialist

Thank you doctor,

By the way, my last question is, after taking the 12 week test, am I really HIV negative or should I test again after six months? Because I had a high risk of HIV exposure, right?

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

  • 12 weeks negativity will be final. No more testing is required at six months.

For more information consult an HIV AIDS specialist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/HIV-AIDS-specialist


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