Anonymous
Window period for hiv2
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Anonymous
Hello,

Thank you for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline. THis is a very simple yet excellent question.

HIV 2 is a strain of HIV. Its window period is not different from any other strain of HIV. In general, HIV testing window period refers to the amount of time needed for your body to develop antigens and antibodies in response to the disease if you have been infected. The reason window period is important is because HIV tests are designed to detect these antigens and antibodies. It is necessary that testing be done after the window period has passed so that there are actually detectable antigens and antibodies for the tests to detect.

The window period duration varies depending on the test itself. Most tests are designed to detect antibodies. These tests include the 3rd Generation or ELISA test, Rapid Test and Western Blot. The window period for these tests are 21-25 days. Due to this fact, all of these tests are considered conclusive 3 months or 12 weeks, after the last high risk exposure.

One test, the 4th Generation or DUO test, detects both antigens and antibodies. Antigens are formed right after infection and for a few weeks after. Antibodies have a window period of 4-12 weeks. Because this test detects both antigens and antibodies, many HIV specialists considered this test to be conclusive at 6 weeks. However, this test is uncommon and not available in rural areas. In Vancouver specifically, it is reserved for only high risk cases.

There are also other HIV tests that do not detect either antigen or antibodies. These tests detect the viral of HIV itself. The RNA NAAT or Early test screens the viral RNA of blood for HIV and has a window period of 10-12 days. This test is also considered conclusive at 12 weeks after the last high risk exposure because it is only 90% accurate at 10-12 days but 99% accurate at 12 weeks.

To summarize, the window period for HIV 2 is not different from the window periods of other strains of HIV and the window period is dependent on the test you are taking.

AIDS Vancouver recommends that all sexually active people be tested on a regular basis for all STI's, including HIV. Please feel free to contact us if you have any more questions or check this [website](http://www.avert.org/hiv-testing.htm) for further information on HIV testing.

Best Wishes,

Mary

AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer
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