Anonymous
Hi, I have protected vaginal penetration at 1st of December and if im not wrong my condom is intact and not broken. On the 3rd December, I had upper respiratory tract infection with dry cought, mild fever, chills and itchy throat. On the 22nd December (3rd week), I have symptoms like rashes on my chest and spread to my collar bone and neck. Some of the rashes hurts and prior appearing, it will be extremely itchy. I went to STD doctor and she told me its just acne. Most of the rashes on chest disappear after 8-9 days. I have mild diarrhea as well.
I took HIV 1&2 Ag & Ab tests (Elisa 4th generation) on today which is 5th week after exposure.

Will my HIV test be accurate based on the fact that assuming that i have ars HIV? Thanks.
Up till today, i still have dry cough and itchy throat (hard to swallow saliva).
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Anonymous
Hello,

Thank you for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline as your source for HIV/AIDS related information. I am sorry to hear that you have been feeling unwell and I will try to help you the best that I can.

Protected vaginal sex is considered a low risk situation. This means that while there is a risk for HIV transmission due to the exchange of body fluids, the condom provides a barrier preventing access for the virus to enter the bloodstream. [Condoms](http://smartsexresource.com/about-stis/prevention) are the best and most effective way to protect yourself from all STI's, including HIV.

With regards to your symptoms, HIV has no clinically definable symptoms. This means that symptoms vary from person to person with a common symptom of newly infected individuals being flu-like symptoms. Many people report feeling unwell with fevers, sore throat, body rash or muscle/joint pains. This usually lasts starts 1-4 weeks after infection and last for 1-2 weeks. However, having these specific symptoms does not mean that you have HIV. The only way to know if you have HIV is to get tested.

Having said that, I am glad to hear you taken the initiative for your health and well-being by being tested for HIV. The 4th generation test is also called the COMBO or DUO test. This test detects both HIV antigens and antibodies. Antigens are released by your body in response to being infected with HIV. Antigens are present immediately after infection and last for a few weeks. After that, antibodies are formed within the next 4-6 weeks, with most being formed at 21-25 days. This test is considered by many HIV specialists and the World Health Organization to be conclusive at 6 weeks. However, AIDS Vancouver guidelines (as per the BC Center for Disease Control) still maintain that all HIV tests, are conclusive at 12 weeks or 3 months after your last high risk exposure. It is very reliable and is 99.9% accurate after the conclusive period. For more information on HIV testing, you may refer to this [webpage](http://www.avert.org/hiv-testing/whats-involved).

To apply this information to your situation, your test at 5 weeks is not considered conclusive and repeat testing is recommended. I encourage you to return to your local medical professional for further testing. They also be able to help you manage your diarrhea, cough and itchy throat.

AIDS Vancouver recommends that all sexually active people be tested on a regular basis for all STI's, including HIV.

I hope this has answered your questions. Good luck on your repeat testing!

Best wishes,

Mary

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online

Monday-Friday 9am-5pm (PST)

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