HIV - Prevention Expert Forum
Negative HIV Test at 5 weeks
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This forum is limited to prevention of HIV and to safe sex in general. All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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Negative HIV Test at 5 weeks

Hello Doctor,

I had a one night stand with a woman that I met at a bar in Germany on October 6th, 2012 who claimed to be clean. The encounter was mostly protected but we had unprotected vaginal sex for about 15 minutes to end it off.

I came back home to Canada where I provided a urine sample and also blood samples that was extracted into vials at exactly 5 weeks post exposure. The blood requisition form stated that i was being tested for HIV Antibodies with a new generation testing platform called the Abbott Architect (not sure if this is of any significance to you).

The blood tests and urine samples all came back negative for HIV and any other STD's. Although, I spoke with my doctor recently and he told me that I would have to go back for another test at the 4 month mark to be certain about anything and that anything before that won't really matter. So this has me really worried now and my question to you is: What are the chances that the HIV Antibody test result at 5 weeks could change at the 4 month mark?
239123_tn?1267651214
Welcome to the forum.  Thanks for your question.

Statistically, the chance a woman like your parter had HIV is very, very low, although the risk of other STDs could be quite high.  (I consider your exposure entirely unprotected and can't imagine how you view it as "mostly protected" when you had unprotected vaginal penetration for a full quarter hour!)  However, the urine STD tests (gonorrhea, chlamydia) are highly accurate, so you're home free on those.

A negative HIV antibody test at 5 weeks is highly reassuring, but not definitive.  (All the available antibody tests, including Abbott Architect are equally reliable.)  However, you really need not wait until the 4 month mark for final testing.  As discussed in detail in the thread linked below, depending on the specific test(s) done, 100% reliability is reached betwen 4 and 8 weeks, even though official advice usually is for definitive testing at 3 months.  The thread explains why this discrepancy continues.  In any case, it is exceedingly unlikely that future HIV testing, whenever it is done, will change to positive.  You can rest easy while you await the next test.

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/show/1704700

I hope this has helped.  Best wishes--  HHH, MD

PS:  Next time, let's have none of this "mostly protected" BS.  Keep condoms handy and use them throughout any vaginal or anal penetration!
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