[Question #7763] Testing after pep

5 days ago

Hey doctors, hope you guys are doing great. 

I’ve been trying to get more information at local clinics regarding hiv, symptoms, and window periods after pep, I’ve seem to have no luck anywhere. 

I’ve asked some questions here before. And have been a little more calm regarding my exposure since talking to you guys.

I told you guys here before that i took pep for 5 days only and I stopped taking it after that. 

I tested 6 weeks after those 5 days of pep. At that time I’ve had some unexplained lightheaded and unbalanced issues for maybe 2-3 weeks, (which I currently have). And some pain on both arms around the elbow area. 

My question is if those symptoms that I have was cause by hiv or my body fighting hiv, would my test be positive at that time  even tho those 5 days of pep?  

The test I took was a 5th gen test, I know you have told me that there’s no time frame that benefits the 5th gen test to the 4th gen regarding window period. 

The lightheadedness and woozy feeling that I’ve been having have been there now maybe for longer than a month. Can ars symptoms last that long ?  

Does the window period start after the last dose of pep ? 

Is it common for someone that tested negative at 6 weeks on a 4th generation test after pep to change to positive after testing later in a few weeks. 

Regarding my symptoms I did a full blood test of my health and everything came back normal.  That’s why I started to worry about hiv again. 



Like I said I didn’t plan to ask here again about any problems I was having but it’s very difficult to find someone here local where I’m at to talk to or go in to talk to them.  Most places would just tell me to do a rapid hiv test as a recommendation.

Thanks you so much 

Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
5 days ago
Welcome back to our forum although I am a bit troubled to note that you felt the need to return a fourth time in less than 30 days regarding the same exposure. As you acknowledge above, many of the questions you ask I’ve already been answered in our earlier interactions. The answers answers to your questions are not going to change as the result of repeating them.

As I have already mentioned to you, the five days of PEP that you took following your exposure of concern may have prolong your potential window, had you acquired HIV. At the same time however, most experts would agree that with a negative test taken more than six weeks following your last dose of PEP, you can be confident that you do not have HIV.  Further, lightheadedness and feeling woozy are not symptoms the least bit suggestive of recently acquired HIV. In addition, when symptoms are present due to recently acquired HIV, the tests are positive. The symptoms of the ARS typically last, at most, a week or two.  

As before, my advice to you is to believe your test results and do your best to move forward without concern about HIV. I see no scientific or medical reason for further testing related to the exposure you have mentioned. EWH