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99 day non reactive rapid immunochromatographic assay

Question: 

hi i am jinx from the philippines i had unprotected anal (im on top) with a stranger on march 1, 2016 and got i got tested on june 9, 2016 in a government building that offers free test the test was rapid immunochromatographic assay. the city in which i live is hiv free from 1998 to 2012 but im still confused because i had hiv symptoms that might be nothing more than just a result of heat (summer here is very hot in fact a almost 10 people from where i live died of heat exhaustion). i had rashes in my neck and shoulders. and tired other than that no more symptoms that i saw on the internet *question should i get tested again or feel safe and how accurate is a rapid immunochromatographic assay thanks

Answer: 

Hi there, and thanks a lot for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline for you HIV/AIDS related health information. It seems you have some questions about an HIV test you've had considered some symptoms you might be experiencing. We're happy to answer your questions for you.

First off, it's great you've gone for testing. As you are probably aware, unprotected sex is considered a high risk activity. High risk means that of the transmissions that have occurred, most have occurred during activities such as these. This does not mean a transmission occurred in your case. To see the risks associated with various activities, we encourage you to check out our risk assessment page.

As for the symptoms you are experiencing, we at AIDS Vancouver are not healthcare providers, so cannot comment on them. However, HIV infections are never diagnosed based on symptoms alone, simply because the symptoms of an HIV infection are quite common to many other common medical conditions. Testing is the only way to diagnose an HIV infection, so again, it's great you've gone for testing. If you're concerned about any symptoms you're experiencing, we'd encourage you to see a healthcare provider.

Here is a bit more information on the RAPID test you've had:

Test Name
Method
Window Period
Conditions
Rapid or “Point-of-Care” Test Blood or oral swab test that looks for antibodies. Blood collection is most likely in Canada (oral swab in States). 4 weeks to 3 months (although up to 95% of infections are detectable within 4-6 weeks). Most people develop detectable antibodies in 21-25 days. Two forms of rapid tests available: finger prick blood sample or oral fluids. Oral swab test is not approved for use in Canada. A lot of places in the US and abroad may charge a fee for rapid testing but it is available. Accuracy is 99.6%

You'll see in the chart that the window period for this test is 3 months. You've had this test done at least 3 months after your potential exposure, so its results are conclusive. You are presently HIV negative (should you have not had any other potential exposures in the meantime). This is the case even though you think you might be experiencing symptoms, as remember, symptoms can be caused by many things. We encourage you to seek out a medical professional about them, however.

Thanks a lot for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline with your question, we hope it has been answered fully.

Trevor

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online
helpline.aidsvancouver.org