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P24 testing and window question
Feb 9, 2003

Dear David, I have read that P24 antigen testing can be carried out prior to antibodie testing, sometimes as early as 2 to 3 weeks after infection, I also understand that the P24 Antigens have a small window when they are present, can you confirm that it is usual that the antigens remain detectable until the antibodies are detectable?

I have had a negative HIV antigen and antibodie test after the 3 month window ( 20 weeks ) and am trying to decide whether to take another test at 6 months.

Please reply as I am still worried and am looking for some confirmation that either antigens or antibodies would be present at this time.

Thanks for reading my question.

Regards

Response from Dr. Wohl

At this point, your HIV antibodies should be present if you were infected 3 months ago. The p24 may not be detectable. With newer generation HIV antibody tests, a negative result at 3 months is negative.

If any doubt remains, a test at 6 months can be done. IF negative then, you are finished. DW



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