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25 days or 6 months?
Sep 6, 2007

Ive recently noticed what appears to be a drop in the amount of time it takes for antibodies to be present for an HIV test. Most recently I read most people show antibodies within 25 days and in the past Ive heard up to 6 months. This is a big window.

I had an unfortunate risky encounter with someone whos HIV status is unknown, 58 days ago. I have not had any sex since the experience. I had a HIV- result on a rapid test yesterday. The councilor said I could be relatively certain that I do not have HIV.

Im not sure, if and when I should be re-tested.

-p

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

The amount of time it takes for an HIV-infected person's immune system to develop anti-HIV antibodies has not changed. However, our ability to detect those antibodies has improved somewhat newer improved testing techniques and that's what accounts for a shift in timeframe of some guidelines. At present, for routine potential exposures, such as unprotected sex, most guidelines recommend getting an HIV-antibody test at the three-month mark. I would concur. Your 58-day negative test is very encouraging, but not considered definitive or conclusive.

Dr. Bob



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