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Testing after 1 month of the risk activity

Question: 

Hello everyone,

On the 13th May, 2016 I had sex with my roommate after a party and we were both drunk. It was the first and only time. It lasted around 30 minutes and during most of this time we used a condom but in the end he insisted on not using the condom so he penetrated my in my vagina and anus without a condom, however, he did not ejaculate.

A month later, on the 13th June 2016 I took a rapid 4th generation test in the local pharmacy and the pharmacist told me that if the risk activity was at least a month ago the test would be 96% accurate. The result was negative.

I would like to ask if it is really accurate and I can trust this test. I will still get tested again after the 3 months but I am really worried about this.

Thank you so much for your help!

Answer: 

Hello, and thank you for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline.

It sounds like you have some concerns about your HIV testing.

From what you have told me, you engaged in both unprotected anal and vaginal intercourse with your roommate after an evening out. It is great that you went out and pursued HIV testing as it is a great way to stay up to date on your current HIV status. The 4th Generation is the best HIV test that one can take as it looks for both antibodies and antigens. The antigens are proteins that are found on the surface of the HIV particle and antibodies are produced by the immune system in response to the HIV antigens. Furthermore, it has been noted that 4th generation tests are accurate approximately 3-4 weeks after exposure because this is when the p24 antigens become high enough to measure. As the pharmacist told you the test results are a good indicator of your current HIV status. However, for completely conclusive results it is recommended that you pursue another HIV test 90 days after the exposure. All tests taken 90 days after the exposure will produce the same conclusive result as long as there was no additional high-risk activity performed.

For more information on HIV testing, you can visit Catie Testing and Diagnosis .

Regards,

Chris, Volunteer