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HIV Transmission and Education >> Am I Infected?

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      #13988 - 12/18/00 08:03 PM

How long after sexual contact should you wait to have an Hiv test,to have an accurate result? I've hear 6 months is long enough but should I wait longer?

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Re: Hiv/test new
      #13990 - 12/18/00 08:43 PM

HIV Testing
Below we talk about HIV antibody testing. Follow a link from the alphabetical list, then click the up arrow to bring you back to this point if you want to look at another link. Or, you can read straight through the entire document.

Accuracy of test Indeterminate test results Saliva test for HIV antibodies
Anonymous test Military personnel Test results
Confidential test Names reporting Urine test for HIV antibodies
Contact tracing Newborns and children Western Blot test
ELISA test OraSure HIV test Why be tested: pro and con
Home antibody test Partner Notification Window period
IFA test Pregnant women
Immigrants "Rapid" tests for HIV

What Are HIV Antibody Tests?
As the body fights viruses, it creates antibodies to that virus. HIV antibody tests measure the presence of antibodies to HIV. They do not measure or detect the virus itself. There are three commonly used antibody tests.

Why Should You Be Tested:
Pros And Cons
If you know you are HIV-positive, you can take advantage of immune system monitoring and early treatment and intervention.

By taking the test, you can find out whether or not you can infect others.

Regardless of the result, testing often increases your commitment to overall good health habits.

If you test negative, you may feel less anxious after testing.

Women and their partners considering pregnancy can take advantage of treatments that potentially prevent transmission of HIV to the baby.
If you test positive, you may show an increase in anxiety and depression.

When testing is not strictly anonymous, you risk job and insurance discrimination. You can prevent this by ensuring that you test at an anonymous testing site.
Whether or not to take the antibody test is an extremely personal decision. We cannot make that decision for anyone. We can only advise you of the implications of a positive and a negative result in your life. The decision is yours.

Window Period
The "window period" is the time it takes for a person who has been infected with HIV to seroconvert (test positive) for HIV antibodies.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says about the window period:

"Antibodies generally appear within three months after infection with HIV, but may take up to six months in some persons."

This CDC definition of a three to six month window period has been commonly used for a number of years and is most often used.

You may have heard other time periods. Remember, despite intensive research on HIV, it is a relatively "new" disease, so published information may vary. A training guide used by the California Office of AIDS, published in 1998, says about the window period:

"When a person is infected with a virus, statistics show that 96% (perhaps higher) of all infected individuals develop antibodies within 2 to12 weeks. In some cases, it may take up to six months."

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Re: Hiv/test new
      #13991 - 12/18/00 08:56 PM

Persons with nonreactive test results should be informed that the risk of acquiring subsequent HIV infection can be prevented by maintaining monogamous sexual relationships with uninfected partners. Other measures to reduce the risk of infection (consistent use of condoms, etc.) should be specifically mentioned. The frequency of repeat testing of seronegative individuals is a matter of clinical discretion. Periodic testing is most important in patients who continue high-risk activities. In patients with recent high-risk exposure (e.g., sex with HIV-infected partner), repeat testing at 3 months may be useful to rule out initial false-negative tests.

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Reged: 11/14/00
Posts: 123
Re: Hiv/test new
      #13995 - 12/19/00 12:48 AM

it was a simple question i will give you a simple answer ,by most experts a test a 12 weeks would be sufficent amoutn of time for an accurate test ,while some like the cdc suggest testing out to 6 months ,the choice is what you feel comfortable with ,figure that out and go from there

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