Q. Are the tests which I have undergone sufficient to conclude my HIV status?

Answered by
Dr. Asmeet Kaur Sawhney
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Nov 24, 2017

Hi doctor,

I had protected sex with a CSW before 5 months. I do not know the condom status either broken or ruptured one. I was drunk that day but I did not even ejaculate. Since I had a doubt, I took a test on 4th week, HIV 1 and 2 antibody rapid tests from laboratory which was non-reactive. On 6th week, HIV 1 and 2 rapid tests was non-reactive. On 53rd day, I had HIV 1 and 2 antibody plus p24 combo. The result was non-reactive. On the same day, I had HIV 1 and 2 rapid test ICT methods and the result was non-reactive and I repeated the same test on 59th day and the result was the same. Please advice that the mentioned tests are conclusive or should I go for further test?

I took VDRL test also in 4th week and it was negative. I have started getting red spot like rashes on my body from 8th week of exposure and today I found white sore on my tongue. What test should I opt for STI and HIV to be sure? Do ARS symptoms start at 8th week? Can fourth-generation combo test on 53rd day be taken as good news for being HIV negative? Please confirm it.



Welcome to I can understand your concern.

You have gone for antibody testing for HIV 1 and 2 many times and it has come negative. When two tests for antibody detection based on different principles are negative, it means individual is not having HIV infection.

You have also undergone p24 antigen detection on 53rd day and it is also negative. This test detects HIV antigen and is useful during the window period when the patient is asymptomatic but viral antigen load is high. Negativity of this tests also goes in favor that you have not acquired HIV infection.

Since the antibodies are usually produced between 6 and 12 weeks, I would recommend you to repeat ELISA test (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) for HIV 1 and 2 at 12 weeks again.

To be absolutely sure, you can go for virus culture which is undertaken only in specialized laboratories or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. But, it is quite expensive.

ARS (Acute retroviral syndrome) symptoms usually start after 2-4 weeks of initial exposure and your rashes and sore tongue might be due to some other reason.

Yes, it is definitely good news that your fourth generation combo tests is negative and since all tests are negative it is quite conclusive that you are HIV negative.

Revert back with the report to an HIV AIDS specialist online -->

Hi doctor,

Thank you very much for the quick reply and support. I have few doubts now to get clarified. I have read on internet that 8 week combo test is as good as 12 weeks antibody only test and rapid test with third generation gives accurate result within 8 weeks. It is only CDC guidelines which enforce 12 weeks conclusively. How correct is this? Which generation test is the ICT rapid test? Can I start unprotective relation with my wife keeping her security in mind? Is it necessary to go for PCR test?



Welcome back to

There is no need to go for PCR test as all your screening tests are negative.

Yes, combo test is a fourth generation test which is used for early detection of HIV as compared to third generation antibody tests but I would still recommend you to go for repeat testing at 12 weeks and then go for unprotected intercourse with your wife once it is negative.

ICT (immunochromatographic test) is a third generation test.

For further information consult an HIV AIDS specialist online -->

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