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EXTENDED WINDOW PERIOD
Nov 25, 1996

You say that 99% of all people infected with HIV will seroconvert within 6 months. I was tested negative at 05 and a half months after a possible exposure. You told me that the result was accurate. However I am still worried now , because I fear I may be part of the 1% of people who seroconvert after 6 months. My question is when should I go for the test when 100% of all people seroconvert, with 100% accuracy, not the 99% you tell us at 6 months? In addition to that, the girl who I was possibly infected by is 19 years and has a baby 10 months of age. She told me that her baby had an ear infection, so I was just wondering if this could be an indication of HIV infection? I have heard various cases of children with HIV having ear infections. Joram

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Joram,Thank you for your question.

In medicine, nothing will ever be 100% accurate. There will always be rare exceptions and outliers in every disease in medicine, and in every aspect of medicine. Nothing is absolute or 100%. Having a test with greater than 99% accuracy is as good as any test in medicine could ever be. There are few, if any, guarantees or absolutes in life. You have to accept this in your personal life as well. So if you test negative at 6 months after a possible exposure to the virus, >99% accuracy is as good as you can ever get.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide). Rick Sowadsky MSPH CDS



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