Avatar universal

Negative HIV tests 12 and 16 weeks after high risk exposure; definitely conclusive?

I had a high risk (gay) exposure in the first week of June this year - unprotected oral (both ways) and unprotected anal (me insertive). I do not know the status of the person (it was all very random and we were both very drunk), but I caught an STI from the encounter. The STI was treated soon afterwards and a full panel of other blood, urine and swab tests, including HIV, were all negative.

A few weeks later, I got sick with mild fever and diarrhoea. The diarrhoea only lasted a few days, but the feverishness and especially sweating, day and night, lasted much longer, along with some weight loss. In fact, the frequent and excessive sweating has continued now nearly four months later. I have also been hoarse for several weeks with dry mouth, but without any other upper-respiratory symptoms.

I got tested at 6 weeks and again at 7 weeks, both negative. I was told these were Duo tests, which are routine here.

However, because I still felt unwell compared to before, I was not reassured and got tested again at 12 weeks (again negative) but, as this was not quite 3 months or 13 weeks, I got tested again at 16 weeks, again this was negative. I assume these were again Duo tests (but did not ask and was not told).

Because the event was high risk, but because I have now tested negative at 12 and 16 weeks, can I be certain that I am HIV-negative? Or is further testing needed (some people still seem to suggest 6 months). I have not had any sexual contact since.

I definitely won't be engaging in drunken unsafe sex again, but uncertainty about my status because of different opinions about window periods is stopping me from moving-on at all.

Would appreciate guidance from the knowledgeable here. Thanks.
19 Responses
Avatar universal
Your test at 16 weeks is more than conclusive. Use condoms always. Take care.
Avatar universal
I should add that this unsafe sex was a drunken one-off (though I realise it only needs to be once ....) ....
Avatar universal
After your negative tests  beyond the window period the means  or circumstances of  your exposure have become irrelevant.
Avatar universal
Thanks guys.

I think what troubles me most is that the really quite sudden illness started 3-4 weeks after the high risk exposure, and the frequent sweating in particular continues to be a problem.

Could I be certain that the tests I took, including the earlier ones at 6 and 7 weeks, would have picked-up the infection IF those symptoms which began 3-4 weeks before the tests had anything to do with HIV?

As for the later tests, one is always concerned that they could be the freak statistical exception to the norm, especially when some places still talk about testing-out to 6 months (or even more!).
Avatar universal
You do not have an HIV concern you have conclusive tested negative outside the window period.

Page 11
  In an adult, a positive HIV antibody test result means that the person is infected, a person with a negative or inconclusive result may be in the “window for 4 to 6 weeks but occasionally up to 3 months after HIV exposure. Persons at high risk who initially test negative should be retested 3 months after exposure to confirm results
Avatar universal
Thanks, Teak, I'll read the link ....
Avatar universal
So, on the basis of a negative test at 12 weeks and another negative test at 16 weeks, I can be 100% sure that I have not contracted HIV from the high risk event?
Avatar universal
Avatar universal
Thanks Vance.

I trust no-one ever tests negative @ 12 weeks, let-alone @ 16 weeks, with no intervening exposure, and then subsequently tests positive.
Avatar universal
12 weeks is conclusive
Avatar universal

I feel better when I see 12 weeks and beyond described as "conclusive" because of the 6 months mentioned in some places for rare people or particularly high risk exposures (as I think mine was).

Thanks again.

Avatar universal
Enjoy your life and protect yourself in the future. I hope i will be able to say the same regarding myself in about 4 weeks time..
Avatar universal
Thanks, Viking, you too.

It's still taking time for my 12 and 16 week negatives to sink-in, because it's been tooo easy to look back at high risk and then suspicious symptoms, expect the worse, and then be confronted with the reality of the ACTUAL 4 negative modern tests: two at (apparently) useful timescales, and two more at or after 12 weeks.

The Internet can be a great resource, but reading about symptoms, and then more stuff about tests sometimes not being conclusive for 6 months or even longer is hardly helpful when anxiety levels are already sky-high.
Avatar universal
Please don't regard this as continually questioning a negative result, but I want to ask something about PCR tests.

To be honest, because I had unsafe sex, got an STD from it, then had VERY suspicious symptoms at a suspicious timescale, had prepared myself for a positive result at the 6 week test, and still don't feel like my old self 4 months later, it is hard accept my negative status 100% because of the above, and reading about rare late development of antibodies in some people.

If I cannot completely put this to bed now, would there be any value in me paying for a PCR test, looking for the actual virus?  How accurate are these tests at or about 4 months post last exposure?  A negative PCR test result in combination with the negative antibody tests really would be irrefutable, wouldn't it?  Whereas, a positive test, traumatic as it would be, would be better to know.  
Avatar universal
12 weeks is conclusive antibody test. Only approved test for diagnostic purposes.
Avatar universal
So PCR testing, either DNA or RNA, at this stage would be pointless?
366749 tn?1544695265
Yes, just waste of time and money. Your 16 weeks test is conclusive as you were told. You do not have HIV
Avatar universal
Hi and thanks, diver58,

This continuing concern all derives from reading about only approx 97% of people having detectable antibodies by 3 months, meaning they couldn't / wouldn't be detected, and that I may be one of such people.

It's a hard niggle to shift, when there's a fair amount of "official" stuff online saying such things and even talking about not everyone having detectable antibodies by SIX months - or more!
Avatar universal
I have the opportunity to have a PCR RNA test (HIV1&2) next week, in a bid to put any (small but niggling) remaining doubts to bed.  Of course, there's no point doing so if the test would be redundant 18 weeks or so after my last (and very risky) exposure.

Time for a new thread (which I will keep simple).

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