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HIV

Question: 

Hi,
I had unprotected vaginal sex with a Thai bargirl on Nov 25. So far I have had 2 tests. First was a combo at 25 days ( negative) and Western Blot on the 10 Jan ,just over 6 weeks.Also negative. Last week I felt my lymph node on left collarbone about the size of a small pea, It can move but not sore. Also had the burning pins feeling over various parts of the body at different times. Had the usual sore throat and stress related issues as well( churning gut, lack of appetite and lost weight, 7kgs from 85 kgs.I realise the need to retest after 3 months, but was wondering your thoughts on accuracy of aformentioned tests at these times.
Thanks alot

Answer: 

Hello, and Thanks for using the AIDS Helpline as your source of AIDS related information. First, it is great to hear you are getting tested, especially after your risky exposure! The negative Combo (4th Generation) test result looks for both antigens and antibodies. P24 antigens are present immediately after infection, but only for the first couple weeks. Antibody testing will detect 95% of infections by 4-6 weeks but will not be conclusive until after 12 weeks. Therefore, your test at 25 days is a good indication of your status but those results cannot be considered conclusive yet because it was taken before 12 weeks. The window period for the confirmatory Western Blot test is 4-6 weeks. This test has a 99.9% accuracy rate, and is a very strong indicator of your status. Please keep in mind that HIV symptoms mimic a lot of other infections, so just because you are experiencing symptoms does not mean you are necessarily infected with HIV. For more on symptoms, please read this: http://www.aidsvancouver.org/get-informed/faq#t184n7689 If you haven’t already, we recommend that you get tested for other STI’s as well. Don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor about the symptoms you are experiencing. We hope you feel better soon!
 
Take Care, Elyse AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer e: helpline@aidsvancouver.org p: (Mon-Fri 9-4pm ): (604) 696-4666 w: www.aidsvancouver.org/helpline