[Question #6523] Follow up to #6473- HIV testing

15 months ago
Hi Drs.,

This is a follow up to my last question. I had an unprotected sexual encounter on 12/19 with a person of unknown status albeit likely low risk.  My plan was to wait until the 6 week mark to be retested but my anxiety got the better of me. 

I had a 4th gen Ab/Ag HIV test yesterday 1/15 (27 days after encounter) which was “non-reactive”. Although I feel relieved I just wanted your opinion if you still think I should proceed with a confirmatory test in another 2 weeks? 

Thanks again for all you do.......it’s important work and much appreciated from one health professional to another. 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
15 months ago
Hello again and welcome back -- but sorry you found it necessary. Thanks for your kind comments about our services.

Indeed you should feel relieved:  there is no chance you have HIV. The test is around 98% conclusive at 4 weeks (with no difference between 27 and 28 days). The chance you caught HIV, based on the information discussed in your previous thread, was no higher than one in a million and probably a lot less than that. Now with a 98% conclusive test, the chance you have HIV is no higher than 1 in 50 million. I hope you'll agree that's zero for all practical purposes. But if you feel you need a truly 100% conclusive test result, you'll need to have the same test 6 weeks or more after the event. (If somehow I were in your situation, or if I were advising someone personally close to me, I would have not advised HIV testing at all, and certainly would not feel a need for another test at this point.)

I hope these comments are helpful. Best wishes.