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window period

May 16, 2006

Dear Dr. Bob,

You are a wonderful person for helping so many. If there is a cure for Hiv, I hope you get the first treatment. You are truly a nat'l treasure.

My q is this. From reading the archives, i know the window period for Hiv is 3 months to 6 months, meaning after 3 months, a neg result is 95% conclusive and a 6 month neg is 99% conclusive. Is this true for hep b and hep c as well? I have a 195 day neg antibody test for hep b and hep c and a 175 day neg for Hiv. Is a 195 day neg antibody test for hep b/hep c conclusive? I know the 175 day neg antibody for Hiv is conclusive. Any words of wisdom from you will be appreciated.

I have contributed to your foundation in the past and will do so again this week IF you answer my q or not. Many thanks, good Dr. I hope you and Steve are well and enjoying life.

A fan from Ohio

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Ohio Fan,

HIV and hepatitis are two very different types of viruses. The diagnostic criteria for hepatitis B and hepatitis C are different than HIV. We use a combination of tests involving different antibodies and antigens to ascertain if someone has hepatitis or has had hepatitis and is now immune. Your negative antibody status at 195 days means you have never been exposed to hepatitis B or C and are susceptible to both. You can learn much more about hepatitis by visiting our expert forum on hepatitis and HIV coinfection. I should point out effective, safe vaccines are available for hepatitis A and B (but not C).

Thanks for your contributions! (

Stay well. Congratulations on your negative HIV definitive test!

Dr. Bob

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