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Is an Antibody Test accurate 5 years after exposure?
Oct 6, 2003

Almost five years ago(Oct 1998) I had a one time unprotected receptive vaginal encounter with someone who I was later told was HIV+ but never had actually had confirmation from him. It took me 4 1/2 years to finally get a test because I was too scared.

In May of 2003 I finally got the nerve to get tested. I went to a local Planned Parenthood here in MA and it came back negative. I was told that no further testing needed to be done because my exposure was so long ago. I was also told that the MA state lab had the top of the line HIV testing resources. Just to be sure I took a Home Access test in August of 2003 and that also came back negative.

My main issue now is that I am reading that blood tests loose their validity after a couple of years of the primary exposure and that many people who test negative can really be positive because the antibodies aren't that strong. What is the real truth in that and should I test again? I want to put this past me, but how can if this is true?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

You heard that HIV blood tests loose their validity after a couple years? Where did you hear that nonsense? Certainly not here or on any scientifically valid HIV information website. No, my dear, HIV tests do not loose their validity with time. They wouldn't be very good tests if that were the case now would they? Your results are absolutely definitive. You are HIV-negative. Shout, "WOO-HOO!" Stay well.

Dr. Bob



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