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Jul 12, 2000

I have a question about HIV testing window. I recently have started a sexual relationship with a girl - unprotected sex. Before we had unprotected sex, we both went in to out doctors for HIV test - both of our tests were negative. However, after having unprotected sex numerous times, I came across an article that only after 6 months is a test considered accurate. This new information I have come across is bringing me a lot of anxiety because the girl I am with, her last sexual relationship was 4 months previous to our tests - so my question is that, should i be concerned that the 4 months was not an adequate window period - and we should have waited 2 more months before having unprotected sex?

Response from Mr. Kull

Your question frequently comes up in HIV antibody testing and often causes people anxiety. As expected, there is no exact answer. Many experts would agree that three months following exposure is an adequate time-period for the vast majority of the population to develop antibodies. If you would both like to be 99.9% sure, get retested after six months. See Rick Sowadsky's responses to:

1. How telling is a HIV test after 8 weeks

2. Conflicting HIV Test Info

3. Approximate timeline of testing and symptoms for HIV/AIDS

Try not to be too hard on yourself -- you both did a responsible thing by having an HIV antibody test before having sex without condoms. Personally, I would trust the four month result in your situation.

Ryan M. Kull, CSW

Legally live together or get married?

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