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ARS symptoms after 5 weeks but tested negative at 40 4 th gen architech abbot test

Question: 

you are doing great service for the people,
please let me know how to donoate to your organisation.
 
i had my last exposure on may-27-2013(unprotected vaginal intercourse without ejaculation) with my girl friend, we broke up becasue she had multiple boy friends and cheating
,so i decided to test. test at 10 days(elisa)
20 day(CMIA duo rouche asssay), 27 day(rouche assay CMIA duo)
33 day (ELFA,MEIA and immunochomtography) three method,
all the above were negative.
on 36 day i felt chilness, felt like having fever so took cough syrup, fever was not there,
but cold was there, on 39 day i had sore throat,
40 th day i tested again it was negative--abott architect method--duo method(clarified from lab technician it is CMIA duo antigen and antibody)
from 41 first day to till now, i had cough seems like dry cough(sore throat subsided)
 
 
1.please let me know do i need to go for PCR test or one more duo test coming saturday.
(i will do the testing at 90 day without fail)
2.is it possible to experience ARS symptoms after 5 weeks,
3. if my symptoms are ARS, i tested with duo, is it appropriate test?
and it will show positve if the symptoms are ARS symptoms?
 
very much stressed and anxious, please help

Answer: 

Hi there and thank you for using AIDS Vancouver Helpline as your source for HIV/AIDS related information. 
 
I am sorry to hear that you are going through so much anxiety. Here I will try my best to ease some of your concerns. 
 
According to many international guidelines, all HIV tests are considered conclusive at 3 months and no retest is necessary at that time mark. However, a 4th Generation EIA test (DUO test) is considered conclusive at 6 weeks by many HIV specialists. That is because a DUO test looks for both HIV-specific antibodies and p24 antigens: the HIV antibodies test has a window period of 4-12 weeks and the p24 antigens is detectable immediately after infection and only for the first few weeks. 
 
The tests at 10 and 20 days could not detect any p24 antigens in your body, whereas the tests at 27, 33, 40 days cannot detect any antibody or p24 antigens. You do not have HIV. 
 
The test results at 27, 33, and 40 days already show you a very good indication of your negative status. To further elaborate, an antibody test has a window period of 4 to 12 weeks, and can detect up to 95% of the infections within 4-6 weeks because the majority of people can develop a detectable level of antibodies within that time period. 
 
As for the symptoms, I would like to mention that there is not yet a set of clinically defined “HIV symptoms” for health professionals to diagnose HIV. Symptoms vary a lot, and may not appear in all people. For some people who do show symptoms, they usually experience a strong flu-like illness 2-6 weeks post exposure and that only last for 8-10 days. Again, some people may have no symptoms at all. Therefore, symptoms are not a wise indicator of your HIV status. Testing is really the only way to know, which you have done already. 
 
A PCR test or any other HIV test would only become an option for you to ease your mind. However the test result would be likely to be the same - negative. As mentioned before, the DUO test could detect neither the HIV antibodies nor the p24 antigens. However, since the international guidelines consider ALL HIV tests conclusive at 12 weeks, a final test at 12 weeks would only become an option for you to confirm your negative status. 
Symptoms are not wise indicator of HIV status, as some people may not experience any symptoms at all. However, the “flu-like” symptoms would appear 2-6 weeks post exposure, for a portion of people who do show “symptoms.”
Regardless whether or not you do have symptoms, you have received the most advance HIV test. The 4th Generation EIA (DUO) test is the latest HIV test, and all HIV tests and their accuracy would not be affected by symptoms, medications, or having other illnesses. If you are not having treatment for hepatitis C, taking Post-Exposure Prophylaxis, or living with immunodeficiency disorders (e.g. Hypogammaglobulinemia, Chediak-Higashi syndrome, etc.), having a DUO test at 6 weeks can show you a conclusive test result. 
 
I hope I have addressed your concerns. I understand that you are going through a lot of pressure. But try to move on and enjoy other things in your life  If the sickness continues bothersome, you may want to consult with your doctor to find out the cause. 
 
 
In Health, 
Tina 
AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer 
E-mail: helpline@aidsvancouver.org 
Phone (Mon-Fri 9am-4pm): (604) 696-4666
Web: www.aidsvancouver.org/helpline