Q. My HIV test after 15 weeks of exposure is negative but I am having some symptoms. Should I worry?

Answered by
Dr. Ravinder Kaur Sachdeva
and medically reviewed by Dr.Nithila A
This is a premium question & answer published on Jul 03, 2019

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 results?

Dr. Ravinder Kaur Sachdeva

HIV/AIDS Specialist


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.

The tests performed these days for HIV are highly sensitive and specific and gives accurate results. Majority of the people who are infected with HIV develop antibodies by two to eight weeks. The literature says approximately​ 5 % develop by three months. With your negative HIV rapid test at 10 and 15 weeks after exposure, you can surely relax and calm. However, there are recommendations, and I also suggest to my patients to repeat the HIV test at six months of high-risk exposure. I hope your query is answered, but if you still have any other question, please revert.

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