|6 month 100%
Apr 17, 2013
Is a anitbody test 6 months post exposure 100% definitive regardless of persisting symptoms that onset after the exposure in question?
| Response from Dr. Wohl
The sensitivity of HIV testing has improved greatly over the past few years. Current antibody tests can pick up HIV infection earlier than prior tests and by 90 days practically all (97%) infections are detected by antibody testing alone the remainder turn positive by 180 days. Therefore, a negative HIV antibody test after 90 days means that infection was highly unlikely and a test that is negative at 180 days or beyond is considered conclusive for the absence of HIV infection. Even newer HIV tests look for the virus itself. These include assays such as HIV RNA tests (viral load) and p24 antigen tests. These become detectable within days of infection. So, an undetectable HIV RNA or p24 antigen test accompanied by a negative HIV antibody test at 90 days or beyond can also be considered conclusive for the absence of HIV infection.
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