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6 Week Window - Mass. Dept of Health
      #98850 - 05/17/04 08:01 PM

To All WWs -

I have copied and pasted a page from the Massachusetts Department of Health website. I also spoke to one of their counselors on the phone. They are firm in their conviction that the 6 week window period is as accurate as the 3-6 month window. In fact, the counselor on the phone told me that they actually believe the window is "a bit shorter" but we say 6 weeks to be certain.

This is an official state agency whose mission is to protect and promote public health. I doubt that they would be reckless in their advice to people at risk of HIV infection!

Tell me what you think!

Here's the info:

HIV/AIDS Program - HIV Counseling and Testing

HIV Counseling and Testing
Options for Anonymous or Confidential Testing in Massachusetts
Sometimes people are told they need to take an HIV test for military service, a travel visa, or to get health or life insurance. IF you are one of these people, you may want to get an anonymous test first. That way you will know your test result and can decide whether or not to have confidential testing and let others know your HIV status.

Your Options: Anonymous or Confidential Testing
Your health care provider or the HIV Counseling and Testing Hotline (1-800-750-2016) can help you decide which test is right for you. Ask them questions about who will have access to your test result and your rights to confidentiality and privacy.
Here are the main differences:

Anonymous testing

You do NOT give your name, address, social security number, or any other identifying information – you get an anonymous code number.
Your test result will be told only to you, face-to-face. Only you will know you have been tested for HIV.
No record of your test will exist; there will be nothing in your medical records about getting tested for HIV.
Call 1-800-235-2331 to get a list of anonymous testing sites.
Confidential testing

Your name, address, telephone number, and test result are kept separately from your medical records.

The test result is told only to you, but a record is kept in your confidential file.

A number of health care professionals and others may have access to your test result. Be sure you know who can have access to your file before getting a confidential test.

Your test result can be released only with your written authorization.
Find out about HIV counseling and testing
Make an appointment to see your physician or an HIV counselor at an HIV Counseling and Testing site (call 1-800-235-2331 for the nearest site).

The first visit is for pre-counseling and testing. During pre-counseling, the testing process and your risks are discussed.

The test looks for HIV antibodies in your blood. The standard test includes taking a small amount of blood from the arm. (An oral fluids test may also be available.) The blood is sent to a lab and you will be told when the test result is ready. You will make an appointment to see your physician or HIV counselor to get your test result and post-counseling.

At post-counseling, you will get the test result, discuss what the test result means, and what your next steps will be. Test results should not be given to anyone but you and should always be given face-to-face.

Test results
When you get the test result, you can be either HIV negative or HIV positive.

HIV negative = No HIV antibodies are found at test time.
HIV positive = HIV antibodies are found. A person has HIV.
If you are HIV negative, your physician or the HIV counselor will help you look at your risks, lifestyle, and the steps you can take to reduce your chances of getting HIV. Remember – HIV antibodies can take up to 6 weeks to show in the blood. If you are being tested in that period, you should probably get tested again later to be sure. Sharing information about yourself with a physician or HIV counselor helps you plan the best time to get tested.

If you are HIV positive, remember that support is available. You may be able to prevent HIV from becoming AIDS if you get early treatment. Ask about drugs like AZT and protease inhibitors. If you are pregnant, AZT can also help protect your baby from getting infected.

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) causes AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).
HIV is carried in the blood, semen, vaginal fluids, or breast milk of someone infected with HIV.

For more information call:

Massachusetts HIV Counseling and Testing Hotline
Information on HIV and AIDS, Referrals for confidential and anonymous HIV counseling and testing

First Call for Help
Information and referrals on a variety of services, including HIV

Knowledge is Power!
Share the Power, Not HIV

Massachusetts Department of Public Health
June 1999

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Re: 6 Week Window - Mass. Dept of Health new
      #98857 - 05/17/04 10:49 PM

does this six week result apply to any specific type of test? For instance, the home access test????

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Re: 6 Week Window - Mass. Dept of Health new
      #98876 - 05/18/04 03:35 PM

I dont use home access tests because if it is positive how do you confirm it ?

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