Q. How long does it take for HIV to be detected in tests?

Answered by
Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Apr 01, 2022

Hello doctor,

I have heard that the HIV test is negative for five to six years after exposure. So what should one do if they have had a high-risk exposure?



Welcome to

I understand your concern. This is not true. If your HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) report is negative after five to six years of exposure, you are not infected. So, no need to worry about HIV infection now. I hope I have solved your query. I will be happy to help you further. I wish you good health. Thanks.

Hello doctor,

Thank you for your response. My exposure was two years ago, and I tested negative after two years of exposure. I want to know if I still need more tests?



Welcome back to

May I know which test you took? Is it ELISA (enzyme-linked immunoassay) test or p24 antigen test? Do you have any symptoms at present? May I know details about sexual exposure? Please reply to the above-asked questions so that I can guide you better. I wish you good health. Thank you.

Hello doctor,

Thank you for your response. I engaged in unprotected sexual activity with a sex worker two years ago, after which I tested negative with ELISA, antigen-antibody, and proviral DNA. All the tests were negative, but I am experiencing mouth ulcers and skin problems like seborrheic dermatitis. I am now confused. Do I need more tests?



Welcome back to

Fine. I got it. No need for further testing now. Were any other tests done to identify the cause other than HIV for your symptoms?

Hello doctor,

Thank you for the response. I heard from some doctors that it could take up to five to six years to detect an HIV infection. Is it true?



Welcome back to

I can understand your concern. No, this is not true. HIV stays dormant very rarely. It usually shows symptoms and is detected in routine tests within one year. I hope I have solved your query. I will be happy to help you further. I wish you good health. Thanks.

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