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38 Days
Apr 11, 2001

My first HIV test was negative, i.e., showed no anti-bodies had developed after 38 days. This was heartening, but I continue to worry. I have seen studies showing HIV can develop 1 year later. I realize this isn't exactly the right forum for this question, but I, and probably several others, would appreciate hearing more about testing before 6 months, e.g., is it worth it.

Response from Dr. Henry

An HIV antibody test is usually positive by 6 weeks and is positive 95% of the time by three months. There are only a few isolated cases of delayed positive tests out to one year. That is very rare. If a test is negative at 3 and/or 6 months after an exposure then the chances that an HIV infection was missed are much less than 1%. KH



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