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HIV Transmission and Education >> Am I Infected?

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Anonymous
Unregistered

Curious about timelines
      #9829 - 09/19/00 05:37 PM

It seems I've visited every hiv testing/information site. I am quite confused by the timeline recommendations regarding testing. Some sites say 6 weeks, some 12 weeks and some even say 6 months to a year. What is the most accurate timeframe? I ask this because even if we cannot be 100% certain we aren't infected, it would help an individual who is going through major stress to find out the best time to get the most accurate result. Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks.



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GaryNPA
Guru

Reged: 08/01/00
Posts: 274
Re: Curious about timelines new
      #9839 - 09/20/00 09:54 AM

It is not a definitive science... and no one will EVER get a 100% confidence level.

Most individuals SHOULD produce antibodies to hiv within 6 weeks to a level that can be picked up by today's tests. Most individuals WILL produce antibodies by 12 weeks, and if tested negative at 12 weeks with today's testing methods, it is considered "conclusive".

Conservative organizations like the CDC and other health departments have to be careful not to warrant information that they could be sued over. Therefore, they must post timelines that cover the few "stragglers" that are out there that seroconvert later, or that just dont produce enough antibodies to be detected until sometime after 12 weeks.

The other thing to bear in mind is that many people infected with hiv have had "many" sexual partners and cannot truly pinpoint who and what day they were exposed. Statistics are based on what infected individuals report as their exposure date. Its not an exact science.

So, bottom line, if you know your exposure date, have had no other risky behavior since that time, 12 weeks from that date is considered conclusive. Period.

Best of luck to you.



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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: Curious about timelines new
      #9840 - 09/20/00 11:04 AM

Thanks Gary. Info is much appreciated. Cheers!



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Anonymous
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The price of being a US citizen... new
      #9841 - 09/20/00 12:56 PM

is to wait till 6 months...If you were canadian, french, german, etc, etc you will be so so happy with a negative 3 month test. But if you live in the usa, sadly, a 3 month negative test doesnt mean anything. And everyday doctors in the usa still says 6 months. Dr. Gallants always says 6 months, in hivinsite.com first they said 3 months now they say 6 months and so the story goes. So, buddy, its sad, but test till 6 months.



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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: The price of being a US citizen... new
      #9842 - 09/20/00 01:14 PM

I beg to differ, there are different state health agencies here in the US that recommend 3 months is sufficient for testing. I agree with Gary that it is mainly the CDC that advocates testing "up to" 6 months. The sad fact is many groups say one thing and others say another so people tend to become confused. We have to remember that the CDC is a federal agency and thus they have to be extremely conservative. As far as doctors are concerned, infections disease specialists will tell you that 3 months is good enough. Call most major AIDS hotlines apart from the CDC and they WILL tell you 3 months. Just my two cents.



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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: The price of being a US citizen... new
      #9850 - 09/20/00 07:46 PM

Yeah but the problem is that whatever you call the CDC conservative or extra conservative, they are conservative for a reason, call it a 1% reason or a 0.01% reason. So if the say 3 months is 99% but to be 99.99999% you need 6 months everyone should test at 6 months. How, tell me how, a person can know for sure he/she cant be the exception of 1%? So why the CDC still says six? They know, sadly, its possible to be negative at 3 but not at 6 so, how can someone know he/she wont be the 1%?? Dont you think that, then, EVERYONE should test at 6 months??



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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: The price of being a US citizen... new
      #9853 - 09/20/00 08:10 PM

No, I don't think everyone should test at six months although they can if they want to. If you want to believe that EVERYONE should have an accurate test at 6 months negative, then consider the healthcare worker that seroconverted beyond 6 months (I don't mean to strike a paranoia chord here). Again, the CDC guidelines are meant to cover the RARE cases. Do you think that you are the exception to the rule? You are more than welcome to test at 6 months and continue testing after that. But for the MAJORITY of the population, a 3 month test and here's a quote from the CDC hotline : "a good indicator of your status".



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Anonymous
Unregistered

I dont get your point... new
      #9854 - 09/20/00 09:00 PM

What good can it be to know that a 3 month negative test is "a good indicator of your status"? The CDC says good news, very good sign, a reliving sign, very confident, BUT, BUT, sorry, it is NOT CONCLUSIVE. Want to be sure? Test at 6 months, other than that, sorry, is a very good indicator, but "very good" does not mean CONCLUSIVE.
What is the "vast majority", what if someone doesnt fit into the vast majority? I mean, again, the same question, how in this world can someone know if they are of the vast majority or not?????



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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: there is NO answer my freind new
      #9860 - 09/21/00 01:36 AM

I read the above mail and find out we have a common problem. There is NO way. I really mean that NO way to find reply yours question. Yes, there were people servoconverted after 6 months ( recorded health care worker infection ). Also, the majority of the people also takes less than 3 months to response. Sometime, you have to judge yourself. NO ONE on earth can give you a definite reply. Doctor will say normally like this and that, no solid answer will be given. Say if you are the outliner and convert after 6 months exceeding the CDC guideline then you are the .00001%. CDC will says: we are sorry about the exception. Actually, I belive even the Canadian or German athority will NOT say 100% ok for the 3 months test. There is no such thing. Don't get me wrong, I am also suffering from this waiting and worrying period. I try to follow the 3-6 months and re-test every year. That is all I can do. If you tested 3 months negative then follow the majority and practise safe sex to protect others is the key. I guess it is the best you can do. After your possible exposure, there is no such thing call "worry free" because the devil will follow you from time to time. However, after the 3 or 6 months test, you should be able to live 99.99% hiv free. That is the limit if science I guess. Look you may die of traffic accident one hour later, who knows???
Calm your nerve, I am trying too..... Let's do it.



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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: there is NO answer my freind new
      #9887 - 09/21/00 12:24 PM

Ok. I will.



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