Q. Could my HIV test be false negative as I got tested after six years of exposure?

Answered by
Dr. Rakesh Kumar Bahunuthula
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Feb 07, 2017 and last reviewed on: Oct 09, 2018

Hi doctor,

I would like to begin with my dropped CD4 count of 350, which I had six years ago. Two weeks later, it raised to 398. The doctor said it could be entirely reasonable for a woman to have a count of CD4 around 400. The reason for dropping maybe due to a previous infection and stress. I had no any infection previously, but a low-risk exposure to HIV eight months before and no further risks ever since. Last year, I had my first ever HIV test (third generation antibody), which came back negative. I also had two more the same kind of test after that with negative results. Only recently, I am experiencing recurrent colds and blocked, runny nose, vaginal infections, fungi like discoloration on two of my fingers and red dots or spots, rashes on one of my shoulders. Could these symptoms be related anyhow to HIV or AIDS? Could my test be falsely negative due to late testing after my exposure of six plus years? Should I have another CD4 count or other tests? Thank you for your time and answer.



Welcome to

  • HIV infection has a window period of one or two months during which the tests can show false negative results.
  • According to WHO (World Health Organisation), all results for HIV are considered conclusive at 12 weeks after the last exposure.
  • As your tests are negative even after six years of previous risk exposure, you can be sure that you have not acquired any HIV. There is no need to further test in that regard as you can rest your fears about HIV.
  • CD4 counts are non-specific and do not give much information in isolation. Instead, you go for a complete blood picture to know things better.
  • Your symptoms are pretty non-specific and relate more to common flu and vaginal candidiasis. You need not get tensed and can go for their treatment.

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

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