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Potential Hiv infection? Window period? HELP

Hi Dr Hook,

First off let me express my appreciation for having a medium to communicate with a renown expert such as yourself.

I Am a white 24 year old sexually active male living in Montreal Canada. Recently I came down with fatigue ,a red sore throat, soaking night sweats, hot flushes and have noticed swollen lymph nodes (like bb pellets) all over my body including my armpits, arms, legs. Literally hundreds of them. My own research on the internet has indicated these symptoms share similarities to those of individuals with HIV infection.

I Recently had an Insti fingerprick rapid HIV test done (manufactured by Biolytical labs http://www.biolytical.com) Which came back negative. I was relieved untill the nurse mentioned the 3 month window period.

I had 2 unproteced sexual encounters with 2 different women, both in their 20's In the first instance the condom broke and I didn't realize untill much later. In the second, I was inebriated and didnt use protection at all. Stupid ,I know.

The test was taken 5 weeks after the condom breaking incident, and 2 weeks after the second encounter.
I spoke to the two women in question, the first one (5 weeks) quickly produced paperwork showing no HIV infection. The paperwork was dated 5 days prior to the date we had sex.  She also claimes to have re tested after I asked her and produced paperwork showing negative duo tests again. The results seem to have come back extremely quickly from her primary care physician (in a matter of days as opposed to the weeks ive been told it takes.) It just seemed odd for her to be so quick to send me all this information. I Felt bad doubting her as she doesnt seem like she was the type to lie about this, but the doubt still remained in my head.

I brought up the same concerns to the second woman (2 weeks pre test) I was with and she went to the same clinic I went to for a rapid insti test which came back negative. I saw the picture.

Should I be concerned. How conclusive are my
6 Responses
300980 tn?1194929400
Welcome to the Forum.  I'll be glad to try to clarify things.  Let's get the major question out of the way first.  The test results your partners produced show that you could not have gotten HIV from either of them.  If you had, their tests would have been positive.  I would also point out that there are tests which can provide reliable tests in as little as a half hour (these are called "point of care" or rapid tests) so that the results were quickly available should not concern you.

The symptoms you describe are similar to the symptoms we see with persons who have recently acquired HIV however these same sorts of symptoms are also caused by many other viral illnesses and when studied, less than 1% of persons with symptoms such as yours turn out to have HIV.  

If you choose to test for HIV, you do not need to worry about the window period.  While it can take up to 8 weeks (not three months) for HIV antibodies to appear in some people, the antibodies are also typically detectable just a few days after symptoms begin so a negative HIV test at this time will be proof that your current symptoms re not due to HIV.

I hope you find my comments helpful. there is no reason to be worried about HIV.  EWH
Avatar universal
The test she had was a duo antigen / antibody screen done by the ministry of health. A test my doctor states  takes "up to 2 weeks and a minimum of 1 week to receive back from the ministry" in both cases her results show they were processed and faxed back in 2 days. Which is what drew my skepticism, although I may be looking too much into things. Maybe im just paranoid.

The only further i would like is, are you familiar with the biolytical insti point of care blood test I took, and if so how conclusive is a 5 week result. Should I do another test?
300980 tn?1194929400
Sorry, I am not sure about this test.  If this is an approved HIV antibody test, it would have detected well over 90% of infections acquired 5 weeks earlier.  EWH
Avatar universal
Thanks Dr Hook.  This Will be my last comment.

It is an approved test , It also recently gained FDA approval. It is a whole blood test that tests from a finger prick.  On the website the manufacturer claims it will detect up to 90% of infections between 4 and 6 weeks.  Im not sure what that means since 5 weeks is right down the middle.

Would you advise for me to go get re tested at this point? Or should I forget about HIV as a possibilty?

300980 tn?1194929400
If I were you, I would not be worried further about HIV.  EWH
Avatar universal
Thanks Dr. I appreciate your help.

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