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3 or 6 Months
May 14, 2001

4 months ago I had a possible exposure to HIV by a sex worker in Thailand. It was an Incident where I had a full body massage in a Turkish bath. No penetration took place but there was enough contact for me to test positive for chlamidia 2 weeks after this incident. My Doctor suggested testing for HIV at the County Health Clinic but warned me that if it was negative I wouldn't be considered negative until testing at 6 mo. At 8 weeks I tested negative for HIV at the county health clinic but they told me that I should test after three monts to be considered negative. At 15 weeks I tested negative again at the county health clinic and the health worker said that I should consider that a conclusive test. Who should I believe?

Response from Mr. Kull

By most standards, an HIV antibody test performed three months (12 weeks) after exposure is highly accurate; some estimates state 99.9% accuracy at three months. See my response to "Definite Exposure" for more information on the window period (http://www.thebody.com/Forums/AIDS/SafeSex/Archive/Testing/Q11060.qna).

HIV infection is unlikely to occur without any type of penetration during sexual contact. Remember that chlamydia and HIV are different, and can be transmitted in different ways.

RMK



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