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Urgent: Reliability of rapid hiv antibody testing 1 year after possible risk

Apr 18, 2012

Hi doctor, I have had a total of three hiv antibody tests done since my possible risk. All three were the same test ( in a Canada sexual health clinic. This is a rapid hiv antibody test using blood from a finger prick. Test takes about 60 seconds for result.

My possible risk was in mid (August) 2008, condom for vaginal intercourse, brief breast nipple in mouth. I do not think the condom broke/was faulty/or used incorrectly or if there was any possible breast milk exposure.

-First test at about 14-16 months (2010) after possible risk (August 2008) using the test mentioned above: negative -Second test at about 2 year period (2011): negative -Third test in either 2011 or 2012: negative Tested for stds at this time too (syphilis, hep c, gonorrhoea, chlamydia): blood and urine test: negative

I am wondering if the test I had taken is appropriate for my situation and timing (window period or too much time has elapsed to be reliable now, late stage hiv?), as I hear certain hiv tests should be used in certain situations. Would taking this test be accurate and reliable after all the time that has elapsed since the risk? Is it possible it could be too late (late stage and test would not be reliable?)? Thank you.

Response from Ms. Southall

HI The standard for testing is 3 weeks and conclusive at 3 months, though some would say 6 months is conclusive. I would say from all the testing you have described and the time frame, as long as there were no other exposures then you are HIV negative.

Be well and stay safe, Shannon

Possible hiv exposure shortly after endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy surgery
HIV infected?

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