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Newer Tests that detect in 2-3 weeks

Feb 8, 2005

Dr. H, in one of your responses you referenced that some of the newer tests can detect seroconverison within 2-3 weeks. Which tests are these?

Also, I have read conflicting information on this site concerning the time it takes from initial expsoure to detect hiv. I've read that the vast majority of folks show positive within 6 weeks, but I have also read 3 months. Which is the correct answer?

Thanks so much!

Nervous Nilly

Response from Dr. Horwath

ELISA is very sensitive in chronic HIV infection, but an HIV infected person may test ELISA negative during a "window period" that varies in length from a few weeks to a few months after infection. Whether it is a few weeks or more depends on the individual person and the type of test assay used. The 6 week figure is often cited for the "window period" because >90% of ELISA test will be positive 6 weeks following exposure.

I am not an expert on the testing methodologies, and can't tell you which tests are more sensitive than others, but the commercially available tests all have >99% sensitivity.

very scared about getting test results
Insomnia and depression

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