HIV - Prevention Expert Forum
Rapid blood test after 9 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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Rapid blood test after 9 weeks

Hello Doctors,
My main concern is a protected encounter with a CSW in a third-world country. My main worry is that I am not completely sure if condom did not fail. Condom seemed not to have any visual damage but maybe it could leak inside through tiny holes that I would not see or it would just rupture like a baloon when it had failed ? Anyhow, I got tested today(it has gone exactly 9 weeks) with a rapid 3rd generation test called Determine and it is a rapid blood test (it is approved in my home country). The guy at the HIV centre said that the results is conclusive and I should move on. However, I saw on your forum that rapid test can take up to 12 to become completely reliable and are worse than lab based antibody tests, is it correct? Or the last sentence just applies to  the new oral hometests? My final question is do I need to retest or can I move on with my life?
Thanks,
Tags: 9 weeks, rapid
300980_tn?1194933000
Welcome to our Forum. I'll be pleased to comment.

Let's start with your exposure.  I am confident that your condom did not fail. Many of our clients worry that condoms might leak through holes too small to be seen.  This is not the case. When condoms fail, they break wide open leaving no doubt at all that they have failed.  If your condom appeared to be intact after sex, it was and you should not worry- condom protected sex is safe sex.

As for your test results, they are conclusive and prove that you did not get HIV from the exposure you mention.  The Determine rapid test is conclusive after 8 weeks.  In some instances rapid, oral fluid tests can take longer than blood tests to provide definitive results but after 8 weeks all results are highly reliable and you should not worry.

Thus to sumarize, you can be confident that your condom did not fail and your HIV test PROVES that you did not get HIV.  You do not need further testing related to the exposure you have mentioned and do not need further testing. EWH
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
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