Q. What does HIV test reactive and antibodies negative mean?

Answered by
Dr. Lohit Chauhan
and medically reviewed by Dr. Divya Banu M
This is a premium question & answer published on Mar 29, 2019

Hello doctor,

If you have an HIV test done and it is reactive but the antibodies test is negative, what does this mean?

Dr. Lohit Chauhan

General Medicine Internal Medicine


Welcome to icliniq.com.

It might be due to the HIV test detecting the HIV antigen (p24), and the antibody test might still be in the window period (meaning, the antibodies against HIV have not been formed in the body yet). In any infection, the infection produces its antigen, and later when antigens are processed by our immune system, the body produces antibodies against the infection.

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