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3 or 6 month testing

Dec 26, 2008

Dear Doc, I know this question has been asked over and over again. I'm a nurse and have recently had blood splash to the eye of known HIV+. I started PEP within 5 hours (my ER is a bit slow). I was told at Clinic that a test at 3 months would be pretty accurate in an occupational risk situation. However, I went to clinic again today, and I was told that you can still seroconvert after 3 months, and said to get tested at 6 months. I just want the peace of mind for my partner and myself. Do I really need to wait 6 months? Thanks!

Response from Dr. Frascino


It is true that a three-month HIV-antibody test following a significant occupational exposure is indeed "pretty accurate." However, when it comes to a disease like HIV/AIDS, "pretty accurate" is just not good enough! The guidelines recommend a six-month test in these types of situations for a definitive result. I agree. You can download a complete copy of the current guidelines at You can also read much more about occupational PEP in the archives.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

Please please reply Dr. Bob, Very scared, Writing for the 3rd time.
Should meds be NOW considered? (WHEN TO BEGIN TREATMENT)

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