Anonymous
I had a negative HIV test 3 months after an exposure (condom broke, unknown status of partner) it's ending 4 months since my exposure and I have nonstop symptoms of AIDS . I'm scared that I'm positive and the HIV test isn't picking it up, maybe cause since I have AIDS it's not picking up the HIV antibodies? Has/does HIV progress this fast? I'm just scared that I'm positive and it's not showing up, I need to know so I can start taking medicine. I feel like the 3 months isn't accurate, I also had a negative at 6 weeks. I'm going to get a 6 month test, hope it's still negative. But I don't know cause these symptoms aren't going away, and this can't just be the flu like you all say it could be. I have been way too stressed out these past months. Thanks for your reply
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Anonymous
Hi there!
Thanks for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline with your HIV related questions and concerns.

From what I understand, you're experiencing continuous symptoms that are causing you stress and worry. However, like you said, here at AIDS Vancouver we don't go by symptoms to classify or diagnose HIV, as they're vague and can be similar to other viral infections like the flu. That being said, this does not mean that ONLY the flu could be a cause of your symptoms. I recommend partnering with your health care professional as they will be able to give you more insight and help you solve the problem regarding these symptoms.

In terms of your testing, all tests for HIV are considered conclusive after 3 months (12 weeks, 84 days to be exact). So you can be confident and certain in your results. The only exceptions to this, in which case they become conclusive after 6 months are:

1) if you're on antiretroviral treatment for Hep C

2) If you're being treated for cancer (chemotherapy)

3) if you're on PEP/PREP treatment for HIV

4) If you have an immunodeficiency disease (you would know, they're diagnosed during infancy)

If none of those apply to you, then be confident in your conclusive and accurate test results.

Finally, I would just like to clarify the difference between HIV and AIDS. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS; however, AIDS is the last stage of infection, and most patients never reach the stage of AIDS, as the treatments for HIV are very effective. Additionally, it can take an average of 10 years for someone to reach the AIDS stage, so no, HIV infections do not progress that fast.

For more information about testing guidelines, check out the BC CDC's guidelines [HERE](http://www.bccdc.ca/NR/rdonlyres/B35EDEBD-98CA-48BB-AB7C-B18A357AC19D/0/BCHIVTestingGuidelinesMay2015.pdf)

Hopefully this information was able to help you!

Sincerely,

Christina

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online

Monday-Friday 10am-4pm (PST)

604 253 0566 Ext. 299

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