Common "Window Period" queries answered by top doctors | iCliniq

Window Period

Once there is a possible risky exposure to the HIV virus, there is a time period when the body is still producing antibodies and they are not detectable by the tests yet. So, if you undertake HIV testing in this period, the result is negative even though the person is infected with the virus. This time period is known as window period.

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I did my HIV test after six weeks of exposure. Is it reliable?

Query: Hello doctor, I am a 20 year old male. Recently, I have had a high-risk possible HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) exposure. Specifically, a receptive anal sex with a guy whom I do not know the status. After a week, I did feel fatigue, sore throat and after 4 to 5 weeks of the exposure, I think I h...  Read Full »

Dr. Rajesh Deshwal

Answer: Hi, Welcome to Your tests appear to be reliable. Just relax and get this test repeated at 12 weeks post-exposure for final surety. Best wishes.   Read Full »

Is the window period for HIV more extended when the symptoms of acute infection take a long time to show?

Query: Hello doctor, Is the window period for HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)more extended when the symptoms of acute infection take a long time to show? I was tested for HIV by rapid test at 10 and 15 weeks after exposure (both negative), but have symptoms by week 9, and worse symptoms by the 13th week...  Read Full »

Dr. Ravinder K. Sachdeva

Answer: Hello, Welcome to The symptoms of acute HIV infection appear relatively for a short duration and resolve within a few days. These can appear anywhere around two to six weeks. Your signs at nine weeks could be a coincidental finding, and there could be numerous causes for the symptoms. T...  Read Full »

What are the chances of HIV after unprotected anal sex?

Query: Hi doctor, I had an unprotected anal sex for a small duration with a guy before two days. Now, I am worried about HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and other STD (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) infections. So I would like to know about the chances that how could I have gotten HIV infection from him...  Read Full »

Dr. Ravinder K. Sachdeva

Answer: Hi, Welcome to Unprotected anal sex carries a high risk of acquisition of HIV. You are still in the window period, where the post-exposure prophylaxis can be given as it can be initiated within 72 hours of last exposure. HIV test can be done now. This will help you to know about your p...  Read Full »

How accurate is the HIV combo test after 35 days?

Query: Hello doctor, I am a 35-year-old male. I had unprotected oral sex with a girl. Her HIV status is unknown. After oral sex, we had vaginal intercourse with a condom. After 14 days of that incident, I had a negative PCR test, and the HIV combo test is also negative. And after 35 days, I repeated the c...  Read Full »

Dr. Basti Bharatesh Devendra

Answer: Hi, Welcome to Thank you for the query. The chances of transmission of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) by single unprotected intercourse with an HIV-positive person are low. It is good that you had negative HIV and PCR after 14 days and negative HIV antibodies test after 30 da...  Read Full »

Is retest necessary after a negative fourth generation antigen-antibody test?

Query: Hello doctor, I had two sexual encounters with women whom I do not know their HIV status. Both wore female and male condoms. In the fourth and fifth weeks, I had a fourth-generation antibody-antigen test performed and it came back negative. Should I be retested again?  Read Full »

Dr. Sadaf Mustafa

Answer: Hello,Welcome to is a good idea to get repeat testing, here is why. The antibody testing at the fourth and fifth weeks can give you some idea of the HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) status, but the one at 12 weeks after the exposure will confirm the negative status completely. The r...  Read Full »

I have severe body pain. Is it a symptom of HIV?

Query: Hello doctor, What is the window period for HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)I was tested negative on the 95th day after a possible exposure. But, I have all symptoms, like headaches, increase appetite, weight gain, body pains, and a blood vessel broke in my eye. I am having a lot of body pain. Wha...  Read Full »

Dr. Ravinder K. Sachdeva

Answer: Hi, Welcome to The window period is the time taken for antibodies to develop against infection and get detected by a test. During the window period, the test might come false negative, even though a person might be infected. But, your HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) negative result a...  Read Full »

What is the possibility of acquiring HIV through precum in the anus?

Query: Hello doctor, I had a sexual encounter the other night. I received oral sex, and there may have been an instance where his penis rubbed against my anus, but I am not entirely sure if there was precum on the end of his penis or not. He used an Oraquick test and was negative, but he said he has oral...  Read Full »

Dr. Muhammad Zubayer Alam

Answer: Hello, Welcome to I can understand your concern. According to your statement, you have sexual activities with a male, and now you are concerned about transmission of HIV infection. If your partner's precum enters into your anus, there is a chance of HIV transmission. HIV is usually d...  Read Full »

Can I do an HIV test using a home kit three days prior to the completion of window period?

Query: Hello doctor, I had intercourse three months ago. Today, I bought an HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) self-test kit. The test info says that there must be a window period of three months. I am just three days short of completion of the window period. Can I do the test today itself as I am very anx...  Read Full »

Dr. Rakesh Kumar Bahunuthula

Answer: Hello, Welcome to I understand your concern and would be happy to help. The ideal window period for HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is 12 weeks. During this period, the chances of false negative results are high. CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and WHO (World Heal...  Read Full »

Kindly interpret the results of my HIV screening test.

Query: Hi doctor Hope you are doing great. Please see attached the reports for the viral markers and VDRL (Venereal Disease Research Laboratory)/RPR (Rapid Plasm Reagin) screening along with this query. These tests were undertaken after eight months and 19 days of exposure or 263 days post-exposure. I have...  Read Full »

Dr. Basti Bharatesh Devendra

Answer: Hi, Welcome to I understand your concern. The HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) antibodies test was done as a combo test in the attached report (attachment removed to protect the patient's identity), and it is negative. Therefore, it is conclusive as per the said dates, provided the...  Read Full »

What is the window period for HIV infection?

Query: Hi doctor, I have high temperature with skin rashes. I have attached the HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) reports for your reference. Please help.  Read Full »

Dr. Ravinder K. Sachdeva

Answer: Hi, Welcome to As per the attached file (attachment removed to protect the patient's identity), your HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) test was done before 18 months. Therefore, I need to know the duration of the last exposure to interpret the result further. Also, give me a complete i...  Read Full »

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