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Testing Window Period???
May 6, 1999

Hello, i'm from a major Northeastern city, and was potentially exposed 11 weeks ago. I had brief (30-second, neither reaching orgasm) unprotected intercourse, where I was the insertive partner, with a girl I had just met in a bar. I have had no hiv-specific symptoms (except stress!!) the past 11 weeks.

I called up the city's AIDS hotline & they told me 6-8 weeks post exposure is a sufficient time period to get tested. When I questioned that, they told me that the Mass. Dept. of Public Health indicates (as of last year) 99% will be detectable after 6-7 weeks of exposure.

I got tested at exactly 9.5 weeks post exposure at the city's major hospital. My results were negative for HIV and other STDs. The nurse there basically told me the same thing that the hotline told me. I was planning to get tested again at 3 months, but know I'm not so sure. This has been a very stressful time for me, so if I don't have to get tested again, I wont.

Based on my profile, what do you think I should do? How confident are you that i don't have HIV? Also, why isn't there ONE acceptable standard for something as important as this? I mean if a major city is telling people that 8 weeks is sufficient, and others disagree, shouldn't there be something done about this???

Response from Dr. Holodniy

I can't comment about policies. The CDC has one set of guidelines and state and local testing centers may have another. Their percentages are probably correct, but the extended testing will pick up the additional 1% or so. MH



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