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Doubt about test at 6 months
May 6, 2013

Doctor: I saw your answers about window period, that is different from others experts of this forum,like Shanon and Richard. My first question is why the different opinion about window period? They answered 3 months as conclusive and you 6 months with antibodie test My second question is if an antibodie test at 3 months and at 173 days post exposure without more exposure in this period, are enough if both were negative? Or do I have to test exactly at 180 days?

Response from Dr. Wohl

Below is the consensus statement we all agreed on:

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.

DW



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