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Conclusiveness of 4th Generation HIV Test

Question: 

Good morning,

I appreciate all the information I have received in this website.

I am from Ontario, and I recently received a 4th generation HIV test at 61 days (8.7 weeks) in one of the public sexual clinics.

My exposure was unprotected oral (giving and revieving) and protected vaginal with a sex worker. I did ask her about her HIV status and she said she doesn’t have it, and that she gets tested every 3 months.

I was wondering how conclusive is my test? I see websites like CATIE that state 99% of positive HIV carriers are found in 1.5 months with the 4th generation test, and countries like the UK, Sweden, and Germany have the 6 week period as an official guideline for low risk exposures.

I am concerned since I had high fevers on the 4th day, 23th day, and 39th day after exposure. I was diagnosed with 2 strep throats and mono. I do know if I seroncoverted during these instances my HIV test at 61 days would have been positive, but I am not sure if these illnesses would have delayed my seroconversion if I was hypothetically infected with HIV. I still have a painful lymph node in the back of my neck, and what looks like to be an ear infection.

Thank you for your help.

Answer: 

Hello,

Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you are asking about the conclusiveness of the 4th Generation EIA Test (sometimes called the "Combo" or "DUO" test).

With the 4th Generation Test, most HIV specialists this test conclusive at 6 weeks. Since you took the test at 8.7 weeks, and your result was negative, this would be considered conclusive.

Concerning your question about whether having a different illness that weakens the immune system, this can potentially affect the results of antibody-only tests. However, the 4th Generation Test is antigen-antibody test, so a negative result would be considered conclusive regardless.

Regards,

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online, Sara