I have seen so much conflicting information on the internet that I just do not know what to believe. Can you please help me?
I was tested for HIV @ 8 weeks (56 days) after what I consider to be a risky situation. (I'd rather not elaborate, but there was blood involved). I was tested with a rapid oral swab test and was given a negative result. My questions:
1. Is this test at the 8 week mark conclusively negative for HIV or do I need re-testing with a blood lab test?
2. Is the oral swab test just as accurate as other tests?
3. Why is there so much info saying that only a 12 week test is conclusive, but then other people say a test @ 6 weeks is enough?
I hope you can clear up the confusion and give me straight answers.
It is true that you can find lots of conflicting information about the reliability of negative HIV test results at various intervals after exposure. However, you can reduce those conflicts by limiting your sources to professionally sponsored sites.
Here are two threads you should look at. The first goes into all this in great detail, and the second explains why many official agencies continue to advise antibody testing at 3 months even though the current tests almost always are positive by 6-8 weeks.
1) Your negative result at 8 weeks is almost certainly 100% reliable.
2) Negative rapid tests, both oral and blood, are equally reliable as lab-based testing. The main difference with the rapid tests is a higher risk of a false-positive result, but that's not an issue when the test is negative.
3) See the second of the two threads I have cited.
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.