Anonymous
[^1]I had a risk exposure on 2nd July 2018 and had the following ARS symptoms, red/ pink rash, stomach problems, red eyes, white tongue, nail discoloration, swollen lymph glands on throat and cheeks, sore throat, joint pain, 10% weight loss. i have tested at 4 weeks, 8 weeks and 10 weeks and its still negative. Should i still worry of an infection? Kindly assist.


[^1]:
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Anonymous
Hello and thank you for your inquiry

I understand that you are asking about the accuracy of an HIV test which was administered 10 weeks after a potential HIV exposure.

Consider the following information from the Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange:

"Fourth-generation HIV tests can detect HIV infection in 50% of people by 18 days after infection; 95% of people by 34 days after infection; and 99% of people by one and a half months after infection.
Fourth-generation HIV tests and the INSTI rapid test have a sensitivity of about 99.9%. In other words, if 1000 HIV-positive people were tested for HIV, 999 would test positive and one would incorrectly test negative. Since the vast majority of people who get tested for HIV are actually HIV negative, the chance of a negative result being false is extremely low" (1)

Assuming that you had a fourth generation test twice beyond the one and a half month mark (8 weeks, 10 weeks), the chance of having a false negative result twice would be exceptionally low.

In the case that you had a third generation (ELISA) test, the window period would be 4 weeks to 3 months (although up to 95% of infections are detectable within 4-6 weeks). Most people develop detectable antibodies in 21-25 days. These tests are 99.8% accurate after 3 months. It would be extremely unlikely to have a false negative at 8 weeks, and again at 10 weeks.

It is impossible to attribute your symptoms to an HIV infection in the absence of a positive HIV test result, and we would suggest seeing your doctor about theses symptoms.

Regards,
AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online, Dyson

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