Welcome to the Forum. The long and the short of your question relates to how sure are we that currently used tests for HIV are accurate at the 6-8 weeks time that we recommend for consideration of results to be considered final. Some other questions represent levels of biochemical, protein chemistry and immunological detail that are far beyond the scope of this Forum. I will try to address your questions.
1 & 2. The so -called "3rd generation" tests have been available for more than 3 years. To be honest however, to speak in terms of "generations" is somewhat incorrect in that the term suggests that there has been stepwise improvements of tests. In fact the improvement of tests over the past 25 years has been more evolutionary than stepwise and different manufactures have done this at different rates (and neither of us on this Forum tract this step by step evolution, much less which manufacturer is doing what). Small changes in the composition and balance of the many components of the test, the substrates that the tests have been performed in and the conditions in which the testing occurs have steady improved both the accuracy of the tests and the level at which the tests provide results without providing false positives. To ask "what" these tests do as though it were a single action fails to acknowledge the complexity of the tests, testing procedures and human antibody response.
3. I am not aware of any. We have both said this repeatedly in prior posts which you no doubt have read. I repeat- no.
4. You are mistaken. "Antigen" is virus. When a person has HIV "antigen" is present in blood continuously unless a person is on treatment. With treatment the amount of virus present in blood declines markedly, often below the limits of detection. Even that however does not mean that no virus is present.
I hope you find these answers satisfactory. To provide more detail is beyond the scope of the Forum. There are PhD scientist who spend their entire careers working out portions of the details I have summarized for you in general. EWH
Thanks for the information.1) You mentioned 3rd gereration and not 4th. Whats the diffrence as I assume 4th Gen if better?.2) In response to 1/2/3 you and Dr HH are not aware of any one from your own personal experience or from medical journals that have gone beyond 6-8 weeks to test postive in the last 3 years and are you kept up to date with things that happen in the field?. 3) I am really worried about infecting my partner if I have HIV and hence the detailed questions. Can I be absoluately sure to 100% that I am okay to have unprotected sex with her in your opinion?
1. See my original response about 3rd and 4th generation tests. 4th generation tests continue to evolutionary improvement of the test.
2. I will not repeat myself. I told you the answer to this question.
3. I answered this question as well.
I don't mean to be rude in anyway or disrespectful but you didn't answer my specific question or can I assume that by your response that in "The so -called 3rd generation tests have been available for more than 3 years" no person has tested past 6-8 weeks as positive after a negative test? Thank you
I don't thin you are being rude but I do not think you are reading my answer. That was the subject of your question 3. this was my answer:
"3. I am not aware of any. We have both said this repeatedly in prior posts which you no doubt have read. I repeat- no. "
This will be the last answer to your questions. You are clearly worried and I have told you that you do not need to be, based on your 14 week test results. Your test results show that you did not get HIV. Believe them and move on. EWH
Could you please answer this very last question. I read on one of your resposes that you could only relate an example to people going beyond the usual 6-8 wks and that was due to needle stick not sexual with health care workers. I assume unfortunately this still happens. Was this example related to the two Health care workers in 1997 that where documented and since it was so long ago was that the reason testing was recommended upto 6 months based on older tests and since then with 4th gen test, have Health care workers with needle stick examples gone past the 6-8 period for a positive test. Thank you
Was your last response related to" with 4th gen test, have Health care workers with needle stick examples gone past the 6-8 period for a positive test" ?
Correct. No further questions please. You need to stop your worrying. There is no basis for concern. EWH