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HIV Testing Window Question
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HIV Testing Window Question

Hello Doctors,

I had a quick question about the HIV Testing Window Period. I apologize, I have posted a question here in the past, but for the life of me, I cannot find my login information. But I assure you, it was only one thread.  :)

I will make full disclosure up front that I had an extremely low risk (if any) exposure and you have advised that I did not need to test unless I wanted to for peace of mind. I am comfortable with the fact that I'm not likely to be infected, and decided to test to close off this issue and forget about it. I have one last question before I am able to do so.

I tested negative with a 4th generation Duo test. I reside in Canada, so here they recommend testing at 12 weeks. Unfortunately, I made a calculation error, and tested 2.5 days too early (day 82 I guess, depending on how you count the days).

Additionally, I'm 39 years old, and for the last several years (3 or 4), I've drank too much alcohol. Not everyday or all the time, but certainly more than is healthy. I've since cut back tremendously, but it's only been a month or so since I did that. I had my liver enzymes tested 3 weeks ago, and they came back elevated, but not extremely high. I am not aware of any other health issues I have, but I haven't had a full physical in about 5 years (have one booked soon).

Anyway, considering the fact that I tested a few days earlier than guidelines here suggest, and my drinking over the last few years, can I consider the test I took to be conclusive? I'm not in a bad state of mind anymore, so would have no problem taking another test at a different time if needed (I'm sure it will end up negative), but at the same time, I don't want to waste resources if it's not necessary at this point, to determine my status conclusively.

Thanks in advance!
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Welcome to the Forum.  I'll be happy to comment and to reassure you that there is no need whatsoever for further testing.  The 4th generation tests provide definitive results as to the presence of absence of HIV Infection at 4 weeks after and exposure (28 days) and antibody only tests (i.e. 3rd generation) provide definitive evidence at 8 weeks (56 days). Thus, you can be sure that your results are conclusive at this time and that no additional testing is needed.  The idea that you need to be 12 weeks from exposure for accurate test results is out of date and based on earlier versions of HIV blood tests that are no longer used.  Unfortunately governmental regulatory bodies chance very slowly.


My advice- believe your test results, don't worry and there is no need for further testing. EWH
3 Comments
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Thank you very much sir. I (and I'm sure many, many others) very much appreciate all the hard work both of you doctors put into this forum, supporting those of us that need guidance through difficult times. You are to be commended. Thanks once again!
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300980_tn?1194933000
Glad to help.  EWH
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
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