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Contradicting Information about HIV testing
Mar 1, 2001

I am a Pre-Med student and when we got to the chapter regarding, Immune Systems there was something that suprised me. It was in regards to HIV. It was a Biology text book. It said that it takes anywhere from 1 month to 12 months for antibodies to HIV to be detectible by current tests. However, from my personal experience it is from my understanding that it takes 3 months to be certain if the person is negative and up to 6 months according to the CDC and that is an ultra-conservative number according to many. And according to the CDC only 2 people have ever took longer then 6 months to sero-convert, and in one case it did take 12 months. But that is 2 out of 10,000,000. Can you please comment on this matter on the window period and is 12 months accurate or 6? Who should I believe? Thank you.

Response from Dr. Dezube

The CDC recommendations are the correct ones. I however would not be too harsh on the textbook. Information and recommendations are modified constantly as new research is being done, so contradictory information is NOT an uncommon finding. The CDC updates their information regularly; it's a great source.

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