[Question #7349] Is my HIV test accurate?

4 months ago
Hello

On August 12 i had a possible exposure. It was oral sex and he ejaculated in my mouth. I have a permanent retainer which makes my gums bleed from time to time so this has brought a lot of stress and anxiety thinking i may have contracted HIV this way. 

2 weeks after this incident, i had headaches. it was half of my head for a few days, and then then other half which felt like a pressure headache whenever i moved or stood up too fast. 

i suspected it was HIV, so after searching the symptoms, i felt a lot of them in the next few weeks. i had body aches, loss of appetite, rapid weight loss, diarrhea (2 days), and a few night sweats. I’m not sure if its due to the anxiety or if its actually HIV. 

I took a test on september 22 which was 6 weeks later. I tested negative. I know the window period is up to 45 days but i tested at 41 days. Does this affect my result? Would this be conclusive and can i trust it and finally move on from this nightmare? 

I also took a test yesterday which makes it 10 weeks and still waiting on my results. Is there a chance it could turn positive? 

sorry for all the confusing questions, thank you 
4 months ago
Apologies, i forgot to mention what kind of tests i took. they were both CMIA laboratory tests (im assuming that is 4th generation) 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
4 months ago
Welcome to our Forum and thanks for your question.  I’ll be glad to comment.  The short answer is that you are in the clear.  Your 10 week test will validate you’re 6 week result.

Several points are worth expanding on.  First, it sounds like you do not know whether your partner had HIV or not.  This was a very low risk exposure.  Most people do not Have HIV.  Even if he was however, following performing oral sex on an HIV infected partner, the risk of acquiring the infection is less than 1 infection for every 10,000 exposures.  In other words, 99.99% of such exposures will not result in infection.  Having a dental appliance,  gum Disease, or mouth sores does not appear to change that.

Second, when a person has symptoms due to recently acquired HIV, there tests are always positive.  Thus if your headache was due to HIV, your test would have been positive.

Finally, your test was almost certainly a 4th generation test.

I hope this information is helpful.  Please don’t worry, you are in the clear.  EWH 
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3 months ago
Hi Dr thank you for answering. 

So if this next test comes out negative, is another test at the end of 3 months needed?  I read that 3 months not the standard anymore and they only say it’s conclusive after 3-6 months for legal reasons. is this true? 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
3 months ago
I cannot comment on the legal issues however, I can assure you that the results of the test you just had will be scientifically conclusive and that there is no need for further testing.  EWH ---
3 months ago
Hello Dr. 

I’m still extremely stressed due to this situation and i had a few more questions.  

1. if 4th generation tests are accurate after 6 weeks and i took my test ON the 6th week and not after, does that affect the results? It was actually a day before it being 6 weeks so im not sure if that matters but its been causing alot of anxiety. 

2. I’m still waiting on my 10 week results, and they are taking longer than usual.  can this mean that it’s taking longer because it may be positive? The doctor said only some of my blood results came back but the HIV one hasnt .... 

3. just out of curiosity: is it possible for the acute infection to last only 2 days? i had a cut on my lip and my sister had a cut on her lip as well and used a lipgloss right after me. there was no blood on either of our cuts. fast forward to 4 weeks and she got a cold and i’m worried sick that she could have contracted it this way, although having symptoms for 2 days only sounds odd. 

this situation has stressed me out in every way possible and even though i got one negative im still worried it could have been a false negative or just didnt detect the virus yet. 

thank you 


Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
3 months ago

Welcome back to the Forum. As I suspect you know, we provide up to three responses for each question. This will be my 3rd response. Thus this thread will be closed later today without further responses. 

Your most recent questions are indicative of your anxiety.  I worry that you are over thinking this. 

1.  A test result on day 41 will still be conclusive. 

2.  The fact that your 10 week tests are taking a little longer to get back to you should not concern you and certainly does not make it more likely that you test is positive.  Laboratories across the nation are stressed due to the enormous increase in requests for other tests, and particularly tests for COVID-19 which has indirect effect on the speed with which other laboratory activities can take place. 

3.  Again, I think you are overthinking things.  This is a coincidence, nothing more.  The symptoms of recently acquired HIV are typically severe with high fever, severe sore throat, and muscle aches and last more than two days (typically close to a week)

I hope that the information I have provided is helpful in addressing your concerns and anxiety- you are in the clear.  Believe your test results.  I am confident that your 10 week result will be negative.  EWH

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