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STD/HIV test window accuracy

May 1, 2013


Im a 26 year old male from the Netherlands and i have a couple of quistions. (my apologies for some spelling errors, English is not my native language)

A while ago i had unprotected sex with another male. After this encounter i had a full STD/HIV test done at exactly 90 days post exposure (Blood test,urine test,throat swab,anal swab,Hepatitis B was not tested because of vaccination).

All the test results where negative. But after this i (stupid i know) started looking on the internet and read a few things,i read that when you have HIV your Syphilis test window mat become longer? I also read something about when your infected with the Syphilisbacteria the HIV testing window might become longer (because the body is busy first trying to fight of Syphilis and as a result produces HIV antibodies later).

So i started to worry if any of this is true and if my 90 days test isnt enough to rule out Syphilis and HIV anymore. Because i now have the (unlogical) thought in my mind that maybe i was infected with HIV and Syphilis simultaneously and that coinfection results in 1 of the 2 tests (or both) not being definitive.

I also read somewhere that a Syphilis chancre may contain HIV (if the person has HIV ofcourse) and if then you get infected with Syphilis,HIV may travel along (inside) the Syphilisbacteria to infect you?

So my specific quistions are:

1) Can HIV or Syphilis delay eachothers testingwindow?

2) Is my negative test 90 days post exposure still enough to rule out all STD's/HIV?

3) Is it true that HIV can/may travel along inside the Syphilisbacteria?

4) do the vaccine shots for Hepatitis B have any affect on Syphilis or HIV testing? (my last vaccine shot was performed not so long before the testing day).

*Extra information : The Syphilis test performed was the TPHA/TPPA test (standard Syphilis screeningtest in The Netherlands), the HIV test i do not know but i pressume it was a late generation antibody test

It would really help for my peace of mind if anyone could awnser these quistions.


Response from Mr. Cordova

Hi there,

1) No

2) Yes

3) A Syphilis or other STD infection can make HIV transmission more likely because more CD4 cells are present at the site of the infection. CD4 cells are the type of cells that HIV needs to insert its RNA into. This process turns the CD4 cell into an HIV making factory, allowing infection to take place. And yes, the chancre can allow direct access to the bloodstream, again making transmission more likely.

In health,


Risk Assessment and why test at 3 weeks initially?
I had unprotected Sex on the 6th of march

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