Hi, I engaged (stupidly) in a high risk activity on december 27, 2005. I had unprotected anal sex where I was the bottom. The top climaxed while in me. He claims to be HIV negative. Even offered to show me his last test result.
I had planned on waiting until the 3 month mark to get tested but couldn't live with the not knowing so I was tested at my doctor's office on February 27, 2006. I don't know what kind of test they did, I'm assuming the ELISA test. They drew a vial of blood and sent it to a local hopsital for the test. On Friday of that week my doctor called back and told me the results were negative.
I've read various sites saying anything before 3 months is pointless and others saying anything at 4 - 6 weeks is reliable.
My question is, how reliable is the result at 8 to 8 1/2 weeks when I had it done? I still plan to get tested in about two weeks at the 13 week mark for peace of mind.
Willl, cbonner and wwarrior have me down pat: Your risk is low, in view of 1) the likelihood your partner was telling the truth and not in the HIV seroconversion window (i.e., infected an not yet positve when last tested); and 2) the fact that even if he was infected, the risk for any single episode of receptive anal sex averages 1 chance in 100-200. Add to that the low likelihood of not being positive yourself at 8 weeks, and the odds you have HIV are astronomically small. However, because it was a relatively high risk type of exposure, in your case I recommend another test 3 months after exposure. You can be confident the result will be negative.
Since you described your exposure as "stupid", I won't spend too much effort lecturing you. Presumably you'll keep condoms handy for next time and will continue to share your HIV status with your partners (and expect them to do the same) before having sex with them.
The Dr. will most likely suggest you search previous threads for accuracy of testing. I believe no matter what generation the test was, he thinks that there is only a few days difference in when the tests turn positive. It doesn't seem to make sense why they would have updated the generation so many times though.
The only chance that guy could have had HIV (if he was telling the truth about the recent test (which I am sure he was since he offered to show you) was if he was also in a window period. But that is very small chance and unlikely.
I am pretty sure the advice will be to relax, that you are negative, proven by the 8 week test no matter what ELISA was used.
Hi - Yours was undoubtably a potentially high risk exposure. i believe the doc will say your result is nearly conclusive but because of the nature of the exposure you may want to be tested again at 3 months to be 100%. but with your negative result at 8 weeks you can be confident of a 3 month negative result
I came across this research today which is the best I have found so far supporting the shortened window and the difference in current test versions being minimal in terms of time to show positive. It compares 27 current ELISA's and the required confirmation tests.
In addition, the article Will identified is 6 years old and the HIV testing technology has improved considerably since then. An 8 weeks test should be essentially conclusive. As an FYI, I got an HIV test at 8 weeks (negative) and followed it up with a second test at 9 months (also negative). I concur with the doctor on a followup test for your peace of mind. It was very helpful for me.
I submit and share my experience like Joeworried did. After a so called risky exposure (unprotected vaginal with a female who has just started her period), I tested negative at 9 weeks, convinced myself everything was ok, and just for paranoics not necessary extra assurance tested at 46 weeks for an expected negative result. That's what it took me to put my fears to rest.
What your question to yourself should be is "what would it take?". That's right, what would it take for you to put yours fears to rest?
It also importantly shows that the required bands on the Western Blots were noticed soon after the ELISA's became positive. Without the confirmation test being positive, the result given to the patient will be always "negative", even if the extremely sensitive ELISA showed positive. I have read that IFA's are supposed to be as sensitive if not more sensitive than Western Blots, if that confirmation test used.
Even if you'd had a low risk exposure, I woud've said get tested again at 3 months. The chances are incredibly small that you'd be negative at 8 weeks and then positive at 3 months, but I abide by the suggested timeframe of the CDC, because every rule has exceptions, and you just want to be certain to the point of excluding HIV as a possibility.
My experience has been like everyone else's -- From my last risk event, which was in the medium range, I tested at 6 weeks, 9 weeks, 12 weeks, and 10 months. All were negative.
I was active on this forum last summer and fall and then kind of fell off the radar, but I wanted to share some information I came across in the interim:
My doctor in New York, who is fortunately a leading specialist in STDs, refuses to back away from the 6 month guideline, because he saw a few late conversions even with modern testing. When he told me, at 3 months, that I had to get a 6-month test, he was very calming about it, and told me that I could live life as if I did not have HIV, simply because the chances were so small. The 6-month test, he said, almost functions like medical "research" so that the STD specialist community can continute to confirm that late conversions are exceedingly rare. Nonetheless, he insists on the 6-month test and doesn't believe in foregoing the 3-month or 6-month tests based on people being "low risk." His exact words were, "the time frame of testing can't be reduced by degrees based on risk level. If you're going to get tested, you have to go through the full cycle or else you can never reach the point of certainty."
This doctor has also seen cases of HIV transmission through oral sex, though he said the cases were very rare. I freaked out when he told me so, because I'd heard repeatedly that oral transmission was highly rare -- he calmed me down by telling me that the cases he saw "had red lights flashing all over the place," entailing, for instance, repeated exposures with a partner who had full-blown AIDs, dozens of indiscriminate sex partners, etc.
Although this thread begain with a high risk event, there is comfort in what my doc said during my last visit: "I've never seen someone infected with HIV who only had exposure." He also said, "I've never seen someone infected with HIV when they have lots of 'maybes' before the test." His examples of maybes are: "Maybe the other person had it," "maybe there was *** and I didn't see it," "maybe the condom broke," etc.
To give you a sense of this guy's experience, he has worked in New York City STD clinics since the late 1980s and did almost all his training via research and fieldwork in HIV.
Just thought I'd share some of what I learned. I wish everyone on the forum the best!
I am glad you posted the information. I like to see different opinions on HIV for discussion and also research paper conclusions.
"the time frame of testing can't be reduced by degrees based on risk level. If you're going to get tested, you have to go through the full cycle or else you can never reach the point of certainty."
This is the first time I have seen this, including at thebody.com site. The first part doesn't make sense to me because anything can be reduced by probability, which includes the initial risk taken and then gets reduced further by the testing. And the second part doesn't make sense to me because you will never reach certainty no matter when or how many times you test, you just infinitely reduce the probability you are infected.
"I've never seen someone infected with HIV who only had exposure."
For this one, we all know that single needlesticks have infected healthcare workers with HIV. So that may be a little misleading to tell you. Or perhaps he was just being reassuring. But you can definitely get HIV from a single exposure.
Just thought I'd let everyone know that I was tested on april 4th (the 13 - 14 week time period) and it came back negative. I will get tested one more time in once I hit 6 months but I'm not at all worried now that the 8 week and 3 month came back negative.
I wanted to thank the dr and the rest of you for your reassuring comments to my post. I have also learned a huge lesson and will NOT make the mistake of unprotected sex again. I don't need to go through this kind of stress and worry in my life a 2nd time.
What is the chance of having hiv?oral sex was performed on me (male) by some girl I met recently. I know it was a mistake she said she was sti free and tested a few weeks before we met .I freaked out and was tested for stds twice all negative and a hiv test at 8weeks I can't stop thinking about my huge mistake in judgement. Help?
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