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Rapid HIV test Accuracy at 2 Months (8 weeks)

Question: 

Hello,

First of all thank you for taking the time to answer this question, so I had unprotected vaginal sex on Nov, 16th 2013, and protected sex on Nov, 21st 2013, both different men (I know I went cray for that week), I'm not usually sexually active like this. The first individual on the 16th assured me he was negative on everything including HIV, but I didn't have actual proof. And the 21st was my ex-boyfriend and I know for a fact he was HIV negative. I took an HIV rapid test on the two month mark today, and tested negative. Now how accurate can this be? Given the fact I had full risk exposure on the 16th. Thanks, and any help would be appreciated, I'm dying of anxiety here! I will go retest at the 3 month end as well.

Answer: 

Hello there,

Thank you for using the AIDS Vancouver Online Helpline as your source of HIV-related information.

It is great to hear that you got tested as this is the only way to know your HIV status! A negative test 8 weeks after possible exposure to HIV is a very good indicator of your status.Any HIV test you take be it the ELISA test or Rapid Test is highly accurate. We here at AIDS Vancouver have never seen a person test negative at 8 weeks and then test positive at 3 months, however, international guidelines stipulate that a re-test should be taken at 3 months for a conclusive result. So while you still have a few weeks before you can take your final test, it helps to remember that it is highly unlikely that your results will change (provided you have not engaged in any further potentially risky activities for HIV transmission).

I acknowledge that waiting to take the test at 3 months can be quite nerve-wrecking: perhaps you could try ad keep yourself busy during this time, exercise and drink plenty of water! If you come up with any further questions or concerns you would like us to address, feel free to write to us again.

In health,
Lindila
AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer
E-mail: helpline@aidsvancouver.org
Phone (Mon-Fri 9am-4pm): (604) 696-4666
Web: www.aidsvancouver.org/helpline