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how long does it take...
May 16, 2011

I have never had a HIV test ran but I have given blood with no positive results..I guess I did not have HIV. I recently had a test ran and I had unprotected sex a week before..when would it be good for me to have another test done and how long does it take for the virus to show up in your blood stream?

Response from Dr. Young

Hello,

While we usually don't test for the "virus to show up", HIV tests measure the body's immune response to the virus, namely the production of antibodies. Usually, it can take from 1 to 3 months for HIV antibody tests to turn positive.

If you had a possible HIV exposure, you would not have a positive test in a week, but should have tests done at 1 and 3 months after exposure. You should also know that if started within 72 hours of exposure, HIV medications can significantly reduce the risk of HIV infection.

Be well, BY



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