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.

52 comments

  1. Roy Trevelion

    Hi, I’m sorry to hear about your positive test. This time can be a tough time for most people.

    But, yes you can test again to confirm it 90 days after exposure. Testing positive can be worrying but modern HIV treatment is safe and effective. Many people can live healthy and long lives on HIV treatment.

    You can ask at the clinic for support while you wait for the test for confirmation.

    And if you live in South Africa you can contact TAC. TAC stands for the Treatment Action Campaign. This is the largest HIV positive support organisation in South Africa and they were responsible for the drive to get HIV treatment available in SA.

    The main office is in Cape Town, but there are support groups and branches across the country, including in Jo’burg.
    http://www.tac.org.za/contact

    They also publish an excellent newsletter every three months, called “Equal Treatment”. This is available in English, Xhosa, Zulu and Tsonga.
    http://www.tac.org.za/equal-treatment/pain-public-sector

  2. Gladys

    I had exposure 37 days ago. I have tested HIV positive, I don’t know what to do. My CD4 count is 418, what must I do? Must I go to another clinic to confirm? I don’t believe it.

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