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Negative antibody test 4 years after HIV contact?
Jan 19, 1999

Hi Mr M.

Excuse my ignorance as I am still trying to understand HIV/AIDS. A question from 16 December contained a statement whereby the patient had contracted HIV in 1994 due to tragic circumstances, yet tested negative in 1998 to HIV antibody. Is this the ELISA test and why negative? Should such a test not always be posiive once you test 6 months after contacting HIV?

Many thanks.

Response from Mr. Molaghan


The standard HIV antibody test will show positive within weeks after infection in the majority of people who are infected. Although the sensitivity and specificity of this test is accurate in about 98% of people who are tested, there are rare exceptions of false negative testing. I would suggest that you submit this question to The Body's

Safe Sex and Prevention Forum.

Low WBC during standard testing - HIV???
Fatigue and hair loss

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