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When Should I Test For HIV/AIDS

Nov 1, 2010

Hi, I had sex with a women on Oct 30 2010. I used a condom all the while. I am afraid I might get HIV/AIDS. When do you think I should do the test. I have heard 6 months is maximum period for the HIV test to come positive. If after 6 months I test negative for HIV/AIDS and I have not indulged in any sex between this period does it mean I do not have HIV and I dont need re-test.

Response from Dr. McGowan

First of all the likelihood of your contracting HIV is very low since you did use a condom. To answer your question: an HIV (antibody) test starts to turn positive (assuming exposure leads to infection) about 4-6 weeks after the onset of HIV infection. Indeed, during acute HIV infection, the HIV antibody test is usually negative or inconclusive but the HIV viral load (a marker of virus in the blood) is usually very high. You are right in stating that after six months of monitoring, and assuming no intervening exposure to HIV, a negative HIV antibody test would safely rule out HIV infection. Thanks Joe

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