[Question #7735] Enquiry About Testing

20 days ago
Hello,


I’m a 20 year old female based in the UK, and wanted to enquire about a sexual health screen I did. I had unprotected sex with a man the same age as me, it was a one night stand, he said he didn’t have any STI’s or STD’s. I still decided to get tested 4 weeks later with a full sexual health screen which included (Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Syphillis, HIV, Hep B and Hep C) as he informed me that he has had a few sexual partners so was worried. All my results came back negative. My main concern was HIV, I had the 4th generation test done at 33 days after the exposure. The nurse tried to reassure me saying, that I was very low risk and my results are very accurate, so I was wondering if I should get retested again or just leave it at that and move on with my life?


H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
19 days ago
Welcome to the forum. Thanks for your confidence in our services.

At any point in time, even among the most sexually active persons among us, most do not have transmissible STIs -- and straight men in the UK who do not use drugs by infection are especially unlikely to have HIV. The test results you report are reassuring, even though some were done too soon to be conclusive. Gonorrhea and chlamydia:  no problem, you weren't infected. The blood tests you report take 6 weeks for conclusive results -- but it is exceedingly unlikely you acquired any of them. 

As for HIV, your nurse advisor is correct:  as already noted, a partner this is very unlikely to have HIV; and if he did, the average transmission risk for a single episode of unprotected vaginal sex, male to female, is around 1 in 1,000. So if we guesstimate his chance of being HIV infected at 1 in a thousand, even before you were tested the chance you had HIV was on the order of one in a million. With a blood test that's 99% reliable, that chance is now one in 100 million. I hope you would agree that's zero for all practical purposes.

So do you need another HIV AgAb test? I would say no, and if somehow I were in your situation -- or if I were advising my daughter -- I wouldn't do or recommend it. But if you're going to remain nervous despite these extremely favorable odds, perhaps you should have another AgAb test after 6 weeks.

I hope these comments are helpful. Let me know if anything isn't clear.

HHH, MD
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19 days ago
Okay, thank you! I appreciate the advice you have given to me. Just to conclude, I can rely on the 33 day 4th generation blood test I had then not to test again? 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
19 days ago
Correct. You can be completely sure you do not have HIV, assuming no more recent exposures since the one you wrote about above.---
19 days ago
Yes that was my last exposure, thank you for all your help. 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
19 days ago
Thanks for the thanks. I'm glad to have helped.---