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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All the answers published in this website are written by Verified medical doctors, therapists and health experts. The Content has been moderated by iCliniq medical review team before publication. Post your medical clarifications on iCliniq by choosing the right specialty and get them answered. Your medical queries will be answered 24/7 by top doctors from iCliniq.

Is it possible to cure hepatitis B?

Query: Hello doctor, I am hepatitis B patient. My current status is as follows. HBeAg - negative (0.010), HBV E antibody or Ag - positive (0.031) and HBV DNA quantitative (PCR) less than 17.1 IU/mL. Please advise whether this can be cured to become negative as it is affecting my career.  Read Full »


Dr. Sadaf Mustafa

General Medicine Physician, Internal Medicine Physician

Answer: Hello, Welcome to icliniq.com. When both anti-HBe (anti-hepatitis B E antigen) and HBsAg (hepatitis B surface antigen) are positive (HBeAg - negative), there is reduced infectivity and the patient is expected to resolve the infection spontaneously. The Anti-HBe antibodies may be detectable in a chro...  Read Full »

Does three months HIV test considered conclusive?

Query: Hi doctor, I have negative HIV, ELISA test on 54th day, 108th day, 210th day and 260th days. May be all tests are second or third generation tests. I also have done an HIV test with the help of home test kit which shows result in 10 minutes. The result is negative. My questions are what are the ch...  Read Full »


Dr. Kalpana Pathak

Dermatologist, HIV AIDS Specialist, Venereologist

Answer: Hi, Welcome to icliniq.com. I will answer your query specifically. In your case, the chances of false negative are almost nil. Chances of false negative are high during the window period which extends from three weeks to six months. Usually, a person having HIV has detectable antibody levels by a ...  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 were vaginal and a condom was worn. 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

General Medicine Physician, Internal Medicine Physician

Answer: Hello, Welcome to icliniq.com. It 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 immuno deficiency virus) status, but the one at 12 weeks after the exposure will confirm the negative status completely....  Read Full »

Is p24 HIV test conclusive after 28 days of exposure?

Query: Hello doctor, I am a 30-year-old man. Recently, I was tested for complete STD checkup with TORCH test. I have a few doubts: Are HIV 1 and 2 with p24 duo test after 28 days window period conclusive? My result is nonreactive. I got a positive result for rubella. CMV and HSV 1 and 2 IgG positive but...  Read Full »


Dr. Kakkar

Dermatologist, HIV AIDS Specialist, Venereologist

Answer: Hello, Welcome to icliniq.com. Fourth generation p24 anti-HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) antibody is conclusive after a window of two to three weeks. So a negative result at 28 days is reliable. A positive IgG (immunoglobulin G) for HSV (herpes simplex virus) 1 and 2 means you have an old in...  Read Full »

Is CMIA test accurate?

Query: Hello doctor, My doctor has recommended western blot for HIV-1 and HIV-2 as a screening test. The RIBA test was negative for HIV, after 16 weeks of exposure. I also had a negative CMIA test, after 12 weeks post exposure. Hepatitis and STD panel are also negative. Is a negative western blot 100 % ac...  Read Full »


Dr. Ravinder Kaur Sachdeva

HIV AIDS Specialist

Answer: Hi, Welcome to icliniq.com. Western blot is highly sensitive and specific test, which is run after a repeatedly reactive ELISA or HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) rapid test. Western blot test is not used as a diagnostic test in the absence of an initial positive screening test, due to the rar...  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 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. Can I be calm with these resu...  Read Full »


Dr. Ravinder Kaur Sachdeva

HIV AIDS Specialist

Answer: Hello, Welcome to icliniq.com. 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....  Read Full »

How Accurate Is Cmia Test?

Query: Hi doctor,I had one sexual incidence. After 175 and 180 days, I got tested with CMIA technique. Please check my reports and suggest whether these are conclusively negative. How accurate is CMIA test?  Read Full »


Dr. Sarada Nagoti

Pathologist

Answer: Hello,Welcome to icliniq.com.Both the tests show a non-reactive result, which indicates that your reports are fine.Chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay (CMIA) test is a reliable, accurate and standard method. It tests for P24 antigen as well as antibodies to HIV1 and 2. The accuracy of this te...  Read Full »

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

Query: Hello doctor,What is the window period for HIV? 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. What are the symptoms of HIV? Pl...  Read Full »


Dr. Ravinder Kaur Sachdeva

HIV AIDS Specialist

Answer: Hi,Welcome to icliniq.com.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 at ...  Read Full »

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

Query: 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 ...  Read Full »


Dr. Rakesh Kumar Bahunuthula

Cosmetologist, Dermatologist, HIV AIDS Specialist, Venereologist

Answer: Hi, Welcome to icliniq.com. 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...  Read Full »

Is it possible to go on for years without knowing I am HIV positive?

Query: Hi doctor, I am a male. I had unprotected vaginal sex single exposure with a girl. Nine months later, I found she is HIV positive. My question: I have read that after a certain window period time (three months after getting negative) is conclusive and even after (six months) confirmation is definit...  Read Full »


Dr. Kiran Anaparthi

Family Physician, HIV AIDS Specialist

Answer: Hi, Welcome to icliniq.com. For this question, it is based on the test you do. HIV enters the body on day-0, and goes to the nearest lymph node and starts replication by day-7. This is when, p24 antigens (core proteins of HIV virus) get detected and in turn, the body starts defense and produces HI...  Read Full »

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