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Lenghth of confirmed results

Oct 15, 2006

Dr. Horwath-

I am a woman who has been in a monogomous relationship with a man who is HIV negative for the past year or so. Recently I took an HIV test and was found to be negative. My question to you is the office in which i took the test did not explain to me the time limits of testing. How long does it take for HIV antibodies to be noticable in a test?...and this being the case would I need to re-test?

Thank you. A.

Response from Dr. Horwath

The HIV test measures antibodies against certain proteins in the virus. There is a period of time of time between exposure to HIV and developing measurable levels of these antibodies. This is often refered to as the "window" period of the test, and may range from 2 weeks to 2 months depending on the type of test method and the degree of immune response. An HIV negative result during the window period may be false.

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