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 recently had an HIV screening test. What do you think is the most accurate measure of any window period?

Query: Hi doctor Hope you are doing great. Please see attached the reports for the viral markers and VDRL/RPR screening along with this query. These tests were undertaken after eight months and 19 days of exposure or 263 days post-exposure. I have a few doubts as follows basis my understanding so far:- (1)...  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 »

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 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 anxious? Kindly advise.   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 He...  Read Full »

What are the reasons for mouth ulcers, sore throat, and canker sore on my gum after having sex with a CSW?

Query: Hello doctor, Please help me. I had sex with a CSW for the first time, two months back. First, we had oral and penetrative sex using a condom. Then we had oral sex without a condom. The first time, the girl helped me put the condom. But later, I put it myself, as it was the first time. I put it bac...  Read Full »

Dr. Suvash Sahu

Answer: Hi, Welcome to I have read your concern. The window period for HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) can last up to 12 weeks. HIV infection cannot be diagnosed during this period because antibodies to HIV have not developed during this period. The test most commonly used in th...  Read Full »

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 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 have swollen lymph nodes. I can...  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. For further queries consult an HIV AIDS specialist online -->  Read Full »

Will I get a false negative in HIV rapid test six months after exposure?

Query: Hello doctor, How reliable is HIV rapid blood test after six months of my last exposure?  Read Full »

Dr. Rakesh Kumar Bahunuthula

Answer: Hi, Welcome to HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infection has a window period of 1 to 3 months after the last exposure, during which the test results can be a false negative. According to WHO (World Health Organization), all results are considered conclusive at 12 weeks after the las...  Read Full »

Can asthma medications and IgE levels affect HIV results?

Query: Hello doctor, I had a possible exposure to HIV, five months back. It was exactly on the 45th day I took an HIV fourth generation test, both HIV-1 and HIV-2 were nonreactive. At the 105th day, I took an ELFA HIV 1 and 2 antibody test, which was also nonreactive. I also did a viral load EDTA plasma HI...  Read Full »

Dr. Rakesh Kumar Bahunuthula

Answer: Hi, Welcome to HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) has a window period of 1 to 3 months, during which the test results can be a false negative. According to WHO (world health organization), all tests are considered conclusive after 12 weeks of the last exposure. As your test results ar...  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 »

What is the window period for HIV infection?

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

Dr. Ravinder K. Manchanda

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...  Read Full »

What is the window period for HIV testing?

Query: Hello doctor,Three months back, I had an exposure with a girl whose HIV (human immunodeficiency syndrome) status is unknown. During the intercourse, my condom is halfway slipped, and I stopped doing it when I masturbate. I felt pain and had a slight injury under my foreskin. What are the chances of ...  Read Full »

Dr. Rakesh Kumar Bahunuthula

Answer: Hello, Welcome to The window period is 12 weeks after the exposure, and any test done beyond this is considered definitive. The 4th generation HIV test detects both p24 antigen and antibodies as well. Hence the test does not rely only on antibody production and is more accurate even a...  Read Full »

Please mention the exact window period for HIV.

Query: 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 STDs tests were negative, but I continued to have symptoms. I can say that I have had many...  Read Full »

Dr. Rakesh Kumar Bahunuthula

Answer: 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 peri...  Read Full »

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