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HIV symptoms and positive results
Jan 6, 2013

Hi, I had rashes 6 weeks ago and still I have them. My lymph nodes and arm pit and groin are swollen. When I had my first test after 4 weeks the test was negative and I already had the seroconversion rashes. Is it possible that someone have all the HIV symptoms and still be negative. Please do answer ASAP as I am very worried.

Response from Ms. Southall

Hi With HIV testing there is what we call a window period. This is why we tell folks the guideline for testing is to be initially tested at 3 weeks and then again at 90 days. If the 90 day test is negative and there have been no other exposures during that time then you are HIV free. The important thing to remember is this window period. You can be positive the whole time and it now show up til close to the 90 day period. Because what they are testing for is your body making antibodies against the virus and everyone's body develops these at different rates. Which is why we call this the window period, you can be positive and able to infect others and have negative results on your test. But at the 90 day mark again as long as there have been no other exposures the results of the test are conclusive.

Be well, Shannon



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