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Transmission of HIV
Nov 21, 2004

I understand that HIV can be transmitted by various methods. My question is once it is transmited & you do not it was...How long does it take to show up on a urine or Blood sample of an individual who gets tested. Months, Years, Days, Hours??

Thanks so much in advance

Response from Dr. Conway

Urine is not a good sample to test to make a diagnosis in an individual, although it has been used to great advantage in epidemiologic studies, to establish the prevalence of disease in a population, for example.

In the blood, the virus can be detected by PCR within days (sometimes within hours). Antibodies to the virus (the "standard" HIV test) will usually turn positive within 6 weeks, but may take 3 months or more to be positive. That is why we recommend serial antibody testing over 3 months after a possible exposure to HIV to be sure that a person is not infected. If we think someone is having symptoms of acute HIV infection shortly after a possible exposure, we will often do a direct virus test such as a PCR test to determine if they are infected.



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