[Question #1524] Clarification on test

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89 months ago
Sorry Dr Hook, I am very confused now,how accurate are the insti anti body test after 4 weeks?as it is 3rd gen.
The feeling in my groin (it aches) along with my armpits which has been persistent for nearly 2 weeks now which is the most worrying for me,I'm just aware that it is there and sometimes wakes me up in the night when I move.
I'm also getting headaches with tension at the back of my head.
I know you said it is a low risk encounter but I have a fuzzy memory of what happened of the night in question.
I went to see my doctor and he said my nodes aren't swollen in my groin but literally checked for a few seconds and that was it,i was in and out within minutes. 
I tried to explain how I was feeling that I thought it would be worth me speaking to someone about my stress/anxiety but he wasn't that interested and just told me to take time off work,which was as much use as a chocolate teapot in my view.
If I can't get help from my gp what can I do?
I am now going back to the gum clinic at the hospital on Thursday next week which will be a few days shy of 6 weeks since the exposure,they have also confirmed that it is a 4th gen test which will be conclusive and maybe I could speak to a doctor there which may seem more interested in actually trying to help me get past this & go through what has happened.
Hopefully they will do the test and finally give me peace.
I just want a conclusive test and get back to being me,I'm tired of feeling run down now.
I keep reading that an antibody test is around 90% accurate at 4 weeks can you confirm this,even if it a 3rd generation?
Sorry to come back again but I have no where else to go at this point and just want clarification on the accuracy of the test as I can't find any info online or at Medhelp.
I promise this will be the last time I will post in this forum,& again appreciate your time.

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Edward W. Hook M.D.
89 months ago

It saddens me to see you back again.  You continue to connect perceived symptoms to your virtually no risk dalliance.  I suspect your problem is not test performance it is your guilt and shame over your behavior.  I will provide a single answer regarding your test results.  This thread will then be closed later today with no further answers. 

All 3rd generation tests for HIV including the INSTI finger stick test are antibody tests which must perform similarly to receive approval to be sold. This is the case in the U,S., the U.K. and throughout most of the world.  3rd generation HIV antibody tests detect about 90% of recent infections at 4 weeks, 95% at 6 weeks and 99+% of infections at 8 weeks.  4th generation combination HIV antigen/antibody tests provide completely reliable, conclusive tests at 4 weeks. 

Package insert assessments and the assessments of many governmental organizations are more conservative than is warranted by research studies, in part because they are bound by the original design of their studies (i.e. if they say they will assess HIV infection rates at 12 weeks, that is what they must officially report, even if they had actually detected all infections by 8 weeks) and in part because of a conservative outlook in which they cannot "afford" to be wrong.  This leads to unnecessary apprehension in persons such as you.

Finally, I will point out that when perceived symptoms and test results disagree, the test results are almost always the correct answer.

End or response, end of thread.  EWH

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89 months ago
Thank you for clarifying that for me,I was just a bit confused with the window period for the test I took.
I will get a 4th gen this week then I will move on.
Again thank you for your patience and time in this matter,it has been a difficult few weeks for me and appreciate your time.
I apologise for coming back so quickly.
I hope you and your family have a great Christmas,I know I can now relax and enjoy the holidays also.