Q and A

Question

Is a negative test after 3 months accurate?

Dear Sir,
I had sex with massage girl on June 08, 2007, she removed the condom from my penis 3-5 minutes before finishing the sex (vaginal sex).
Five weeks (37 days) after the exposure, I got HIV test and the result was negative. 91 days after exposure I got HIV test again for confirmation, the result is negative. My questions are:
1. Does it mean that I am really HIV negative?
2. Should I get HIV test again next December 2007 (6 months after exposure)?

Answer

To question #1: Unless you had another exposure risk during the 91 days period, then yes, the test shows that you are HIV-negative.

To question #2: In very rare cases it takes more than 40 days for the body to develop antibodies to HIV that can be picked up by the test. That is why it is a good idea to test again 3 months after the possible exposure, even though the chances of a positive result then are almost negligible.


Information on this website is provided by treatment advocates and offered as a guide only. Decisions about your treatment should always be taken in consultation with your doctor.

44 comments

  1. Hello Bill,
    I am very sorry to hear about this assault. Have you received any support to help you deal with this?

    PEP can affect the accuracy of HIV antibody tests. To be certain of your result you need to wait 28 days after finishing PEP. This should mean that your 13 week test is accurate but if you are worried it is worth contacting your clinic to clarify this. You can also read more about PEP and HIV testing here.

  2. i was assaulted in Amsterdam 4 months ago, on return i had a screening and was given PEP. since i have had 3 hiv tests all negative, one at 3 week one at 6 and another at 13, have recently had unprotected sex with a girl who i know to be clear of all STI’s. she has recently gotten ill, with a soar throat, dizzyness, and a number of other early Hiv signs. i am scared i have infected her, although all of my tests came back negative. going to get tested again at the 5 month mark just to be sure. is the 3 month test really as accurate as people say .even if i was on Pep.

  3. Hi Bee,
    If you have tested HIV positive it is important to have a confirmation test. You do not need to wait until 12 weeks to do this. Unfortunately it is unlikely that you will test negative after a positive result- false positive tests are not common. You can read about confirmation tests here.

    Do you have anybody to support you with this?

  4. i went for hiv tests 9 weeks after the exposure to a person of unknown status and came out positive, so after 12 weeks will i see an change to my results? I am in Zimbabwe i dont know the hiv generation used to test hiv here. Pliz assist

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