[Question #7264] Can I be assured with current Testing?

6 months ago
Hi Doctors,

I'll try and make it quick.  I'm a 35 year old male, and over the last 10-12 years I've probably had between 20-25 different partners.  I'm Hetero-sexual, but one time in my mid-twenties I did frolic a bit with another male, only oral and some frottage.  Since then all females.  Anyway, I'd say half my encounters/partners have been un-protected, and half of that half have been one-night stands and with all of them usually oral and vaginal sex, but a couple instances of anal sex.

I'm not proud of my past behavior and about a year ago I decided to clean up my act and wanted to move on in the future with a more monogamous relationship.

After 3 months of celibacy I did a "10-Test Panel" with STD check.  Everything came out negative, including the Herpes tests which from reading I thought for sure one would be positive.  Needless to say I've never had any STD symptoms of any kind though.  Anyways for some reason (maybe getting older) I continued to worry and have taken the 4th Gen Ag/AB test 3 more times since them for a total of 4 tests.  3, 6, 9 and now 12 months.  I also took and HIV RNA test at 6 months.  All negative.

I would like to move on without fear of infecting anyone else at this point, but something about me all of the sudden makes me feel like I "deserve to have something" with all my past irresponsibility. 

Mind you I've had no reason to think I have anything (other than my own psyche) and no symptoms at all.  Is there any reason to doubt the tests (HIV in particular) I've had?  Any reason to test out past 12 months?   Are there any statistics to support doing so or any known cases of turning positive after such a long time.?

Thank you in advance,

B.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
6 months ago
Welcome and thanks for your question.

Some questions can be answered based only on the question title someone chooses, without reading anything else. Maybe that applies here. I haven't read beyond the title. But assuming you're talking about HIV testing, and if tested sufficiently long after your last possible risky exposure, the answer is yes:  you can be assured by your negative test result.

Now I have read further. Guess what? Stopping after "4th Gen Ag/AB test 3 more times since them for a total of 4 tests.  3, 6, 9 and now 12 months":  It's 100% certain you do not have HIV. Full stop, no possibilty of any other conclusion. And no, nobody has ever turned positive later after even a single AgAb HIV test done at least 6 weeks after the last possible exposure.

Reading further:  Nothing changes. You're home free in regard to HIV. It also sounds you weren't really at particularly high risk of HIV. But even if you had told me you had mainlined HIV infected blood, I would still advise the same:  No worry, no chance you have HIV. The tests are that good. And for what it's worth, your other STD tests also are conclusive.

I hope this doesn't come acoss as glib or unconcerned. Trust me, it is not. But truly, don't worry. You're good to go. Let me know if anyting isn't clear.

HHH, MD
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