HIV - Prevention Expert Forum
Negative antibody test at 5 weeks (finger prick)
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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 antibody test at 5 weeks (finger prick)

Hey all. I am a straight white male who had unprotected sex 8 and 5 weeks ago with girls of unknown status. Both encounters happened only 1 time and were both only vaginal intercourse. I have been having headaches, light headedness, and tingling on my feet and legs. I took an oraquick home test at 7 and 4 weeks which was negative. I then today took the finger prick antibody test and 8 and 5 weeks which was negative.

If both females had hiv what were the odds I contracted it? And how should I feel about a negative 5 week post exposure even with these symptoms arising? I know 3 month is definitive, but how assuring is 5 weeks? Any help or advice in this matter is appreciated.
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Welcome to our Forum.  I'll be pleased to comment.  The risk of any single sexual contact with a new partner is low since most women do not have HIV (in the U.S. on average, fewer than 1 in 10,000 women have HIV) and even if a sex partner had HIV, the risk of becoming infected after any single exposure is less than 1 infection per 1000 unprotected genital sex acts.  thus the odds are very much in your favor.

Your test results provide strong but not quite definitive evidence that you were not infected with HIV.  At 4 weeks antibody tests detect about 90% of infection, at 6 weeks the figure rises to about 95% and by 8 weeks virtually all recent HIV infections can be detected.  (A very few cases or HIV may be missed by rapid tests, including the OraQuick test at 8 weeks).  Thus when combined with the very low risk that your exposures were associated with, there is very, very little likelihood that you acquired HIV form the exposures that you describe.

The symptoms you describe are not symptoms of recently acquired HIV.  In some instances they could be a manifestation of anxiety.

I hope these comments are helpful to you.  EWH
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