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Conflicting opinions on window periods.
Jan 26, 2013

Hello Dr., I am of course possibly(hopefully) another worried well. Anyways I had unprotected vaginal intercourse with a young lady who has had many partners. We are both African American college students. I was the insertive partner obviously. After the event I had a hiv PCR DNA test at 20 days and the company told me I should be good to go. I had a rapid hiv test at 5 weeks and finally a hiv ICMA test for antibodies along with a qualitative hiv RNA test all at 6 weeks and 4 days. My question is I keep hearing these test should be fine but obviously people keep saying the CDC guideline is 3 months, but I also read the CDC say 9-11 days is good enough for an RNA test. What is the truth in this matter Dr. Are my test valid or do I need to wait it out to the very end for three months? I feel fine besides my own anxiety. Possibly a mild sore throat but that's not even really bothering me. I would just like some objective validation from someone who is knowledgeable so I can move on with my life and remember to never drink a bottle and a half of ciroc vodka again :). For the record, I dont know the young ladies status.

Response from Mr. Cordova

Hi there:

A positive result can be read at any point. For a conclusive negative result, you must wait the 90 days. While the RNA test would be highly accurate at 9-11 days, a positive result would still be followed up with confirmatory testing to make sure an infection has actually occurred. I feel confident in your negative test result, but would encourage you to follow it up with a final test at the 90 day mark to be certain.

In the future, I would encourage you to find out each sexual partners HIV status BEFORE the clothes come off. It will feel awkward at first, but it gets easier each time you do it.

Also, I would remiss if I didn't close by telling you that next to abstinence, using a condom for each and every act of penetrative sex is the best way to protect yourself against HIV and many STD's. Good luck.

In health,

Richard



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