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Detect antibodies after 22 months?
Apr 26, 2007

Hi Dr. Frascino, My question is just a matter of reassurance. I waited almost two years (22 months to be exact) to have an HIV test after a scare I had, though the test was more for just peace of mind. The results came back negative but my concern is, if you wait that long to get an HIV test could any type of HIV test used still detect antibodies? I know that the window period says at least three months but I just wasn't sure if there was ever a point when tests couldn't detect antibodies in the blood. I came here because I'm too nervous to go to my doctor and ask what kind of test he used. I assume it was just the standard ELISA. Logic tells me that since I waited way past the window period and still got negative results, I am fine. But I just wanted to be extra sure by asking if any sort of test used could still detect antibodies after 22 months. Thanks, and hope my question wasn't too confusing. Please reply.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

No, your question is not at all confusing. In fact, it comes up so frequently it almost qualifies for QTND/ATNC (Questions That Never Die and Answers That Never Change) status!

Your "logic" is sound and your worries, completely unfounded. Waiting 22 weeks, 22 months or 22 years would not affect the ability of an HIV-antibody test to detect HIV infection. Your negative results are both definitive and conclusive.

Stop worrying and start WOO-HOOing, OK?

Be well. Stay well.

Dr. Bob



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