The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
Ask the Experts About

Safe Sex and HIV PreventionSafe Sex and HIV Prevention
Rollover images to visit our other forums!
Recent AnswersAsk a Question
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary


Sep 11, 2002

Dear Doctor, Is there any difinitive information, or statistics about EXACTLY how long to wait before getting tested after exposure (the "window" period)? Some docs say six months, some say three and you can find almost any answer on the've said three in most of your answers, but then have mentioned it IS possible to take up to six months. Is there any FINAL answer to this? What are the statistics? I have been operating under the assumption that it is three months and I'm worried that perhaps I was wrong and could be putting myself at risk b/c of false information...can you somehow clear this up? much thanks...

Response from Mr. Kull

There is no final answer on the window period. There is no way to predict exactly what is going to happen with every single person in every single circumstance. I know that is anxiety provoking, but that is the nature of life, no?

It's best to go with the current recommendations set forth by the CDC. For the vast majority of exposures and people, testing at a minimum of three months after exposure is sufficient. It is rare that someone would take six or more months to develop a detectable level of antibodies against HIV. The only situation in which repeat testing at six months is recommended are in circumstances where a person had an exposure to a person who was confirmed to be HIV infected and/or the person experiences unexplained symptoms indicative of acute infection (as assessed by a medical professional) despite negative test results.

Since it is unlikely that we can get more exact than this, you will have to do what you are most comfortable with. This might mean that you will get an antibody test at six months as opposed to three months after exposure.


dr ryan a non sexual tranmission............plzzz help ACCIDENTAL NEEDLE INJURY

  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

 Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS



This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.

Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.

Review our complete terms of use and copyright notice.

Powered by ExpertViewpoint