Please mention the exact window period for HIV.

Q. What is the exact window period of HIV?

Answered by
Dr. Rakesh Kumar Bahunuthula
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Feb 01, 2017 and last reviewed on: Jul 05, 2023

Hello doctor,

Before 16 years, I had lots of high-risk exposures. Before seven years, I started having lots of various symptoms that I have to this day. At that time, I ceased my activities and got tested. All STD(Sexually Transmitted Disease)s tests were negative, but I continued to have symptoms. I can say that I have had many (over 40) HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) tests along with syphilis tests. Like I said, no risk exposure for the last seven years. Before four years, I have had HIV third, and fourth generation tests. I also have had proviral HIV 1 and 2. I have had Abbott Real Time RNA as well as western blot, and they have been negative. In the last six years, I have also had many syphilis tests, and everything has been negative. As I was still having symptoms, I tested again, and it includes FTA (Fluroscent Treponemal Antibody), RPR (Rapid Plasma Reagin) and TPPA (Treponema Palladium Particle Agglutination). The RPR and TPPA were negative, but FTA was positive. I freaked out and checked after some weeks, and all were negative.My doctor said that one incident was a false positive. I have not tested since. Am I HIV negative Can HIV tests miss any HIV strains or subtypes? What is the absolute window period for HIV? Can I be certain that I do not have syphilis? What is the absolute window period for syphilis? Do I need any other tests?


Hi, Welcome to

HIV infection has a window period of one to three months during which the tests can be a false negative. According to WHO (World Health Organization), all tests for HIV are considered conclusive at 12 weeks after the last high-risk exposure. For syphilis, the window period is 90 days and beyond which the tests invariably turn positive if infected. In the case of a positive test for syphilis, it is advised to repeat the same at 4 and 12 weeks later. As both your tests are negative beyond the window period, you can be sure that you have not been infected. Kindly upload the latest reports to go through and find out the procedure used and confirm the same. You can rest your fears.

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