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3 week test

Mar 5, 2013

Hi Shannon,

Why are the guidelines to test at 3 weeks if it won't be conclusive until the 3rd month? Is the 3 week test a good indicator of your status? My last "exposure" was January 28th and I tested negative on Feb. 26th? Is this a good sign? Sorry to keep bothering you but I am very anxious about this whole thing and don't know how I am going to wait 3 months?

Response from Ms. Southall

Hi The reason for the 3 week and then again 90 day test is because what the test is looking for is your body developing antibodies against HIV and everyone develops those antibodies at different rates. So we call this the window period, because during this time if the test comes back negative you can still be positive and able to transmit the virus. One of the things scientist are working on is increasing the sensitivity of testing. When I was tested 21 years ago I had to wait a week for my results and now we are down to 10 minutes and it used to be get tested for one year, it was reduced to 6 months and now it's down to 3 months and I know that we are getting closer to getting it down to one month.

Hope this helps, be well and stay safe, Shannon

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