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HIV Transmission and Education >> Am I Infected?

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Anonymous
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testing window
      #193565 - 05/29/06 08:01 PM

why is it that you see people say 13 weeks is conclusive, but when someone has a known exposure it changes to 6 month's. which is it. 3 or 6 month's.

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Anonymous
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Re: testing window new
      #193567 - 05/29/06 08:26 PM

neither! A 6/8 week test is all 99% of all the people need. if one has a definate exposure with a HIV person then a 3 month test will do.D.J

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Anonymous
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Re: testing window new
      #193575 - 05/29/06 10:58 PM

because some people are HIV negative and they find it very easy to tell people to test out to 6 months. also some people are HIV Positive and they tell people to test out to 6 months. Then there are the old text books that have the 6 month window from the 1980s and 90s. This is the internet generation now and information moves fast so if you do some research from real doctors like Niel Constantine who's job it was to study the window period you will find the answer to this dumb idiotic window period thing.

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JonCage
Master

Reged: 04/13/06
Posts: 130
Re: testing window new
      #193580 - 05/30/06 02:31 AM

The CDC in it's guidelines suggested that a 3 month window be used for "unknown" partners and a 6 month window for "known" partners. Obviously, this is illogical.

They have since revised there guidlines to reflect 3 months whether "known" or "unknown".

"All testing follows the same basic steps:

1. Sample is obtained. Most often, a blood sample is taken from a person's fingertip or arm.
2. Sample is processed.
3. Healthcare worker obtains results.
4. Healthcare worker provides results to the patient during post-test counselling. In an adult, a positive HIV antibody test result means that the person is infected, a person with a negative or inconclusive result may be in the “window for 4 to 6 weeks but occasionally up to 3 months after HIV exposure. Persons at high risk who initially test negative should be retested 3 months after exposure to confirm results.
5. Healthcare worker provides post-test counselling, support, and referral."


http://www.cdc.gov/nchstp/od/gap/pmtct/Trainer%20Manual/Adobe/Module_6TM.pdf

--------------------
Red like love, as a symbol of passion and tolerance towards those affected

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SteveR
Legend

Reged: 07/19/05
Posts: 576
Re: testing window new
      #193595 - 05/30/06 10:39 AM

I knew we were going to get this question when I answered that "Ohio" post.

Basically, it has to do with statistics. If you had unprotected sex with someone and didn't know their status, the likelihood that they are HIV-positive and that you picked it up, and that you then will test positive past the 13-week window period, is INCREDIBLY small. All three of those factors coming together is very unlikely.

However, if you had unprotected sex with someone KNOWN to be positive, that eliminates one of the big "ifs" in the equation. It makes it statistically MORE likely (though still virtually unheard of) that you may test positive past 13 weeks.

That's why people with KNOWN exposures are often told they can test at six months as well. But really, it's up to them. If infected, they're still virtually certain to be positive within three months.

It's all about math.

S.

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sunkyst
Master

Reged: 03/22/06
Posts: 130
Re: testing window new
      #193624 - 05/30/06 02:22 PM

The CDC states that 97% of those infected will test positive by 13 weeks, with most testing positive by 8 weeks.

Therefore, there is a small risk that you could test negative at 13 weeks and then positive later, approximately 1 in 33.

Most of the people that will happen to are those that already have weakened immune systems due to chemotherapy treatment, immune suppression drugs in organ transplant patients or those into heavy drug use.

Therefore if you don't fall into one of these categories, the risk is very small that you would test negative at 13 weeks and positive later. If that small probability continues to bother you, then get tested at six months, but you'll most likely be negative at that time too.

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