I have a long duration of illness which consist of mild headache, joint pains, muscles pains and 2 small swollen lymph nodes on my neck after a week i had a sexual intercourse with a Female ( i am Male). I believe it was a protected sex with condom but i was slightly drunk so i do not want to 100% confirm that the condom was always intact during the sexual intercourse. Those symptoms lasted at least a Month.

After 35 days i took 4th Gen RAPID test and the results was NEGATIVE, i also took another rapid test from a government clinic at day 42 which i am not sure whether it was 3rd or 4th gen but the result was NEGATIVE as well . Although it was negative but i am still paranoid.

After some research from the internet i found out that there are different views on the window period regarding 4th gen test. Some say 28 days is conclusive while some still claimed that 3 months is needed.

1. Is my test conclusive ?
2. I found out that World Health Organization claimed that 4th gen Rapid test is conclusive after 28 days. But CDC and many countries still suggest a 3 month re-test. So, who is right ?
3. Should i re test ?
Hi there, and thanks a lot for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline with your HIV/AIDS related health information. You seem concerned about the accuracy of some RAPID tests you've had. We're happy to answer this question for you.

Here is a bit of information on the RAPID test, to start:

You've had tests at 35 and 42 days post potential exposure. You'll see in the chart that "most people" develop indicators for the test 4-6 weeks post exposure, which means that these two tests are very good indicators of your status at this time. They are not, however, considered "conclusive," or they do not provide the most accuracy the test can provide. For this reason, we suggest you wait until 3 months post exposure and go for another test. This test will indicate your status conclusively.

We are not healthcare providers, so cannot comment on any symptoms you have been experiencing. What we can say is that the symptoms of an HIV infection closely mimic the symptoms of many other medical conditions, so the only way to determine conclusively if an infection has occurred is through testing. You've already gone for testing, which is great.

Thanks a lot for your question to the AIDS Vancouver Helpline, we hope it has been answered completely.


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Test Name Method Window Period Conditions
Rapid or “Point-of-Care” Blood or oral swab test that looks for antibodies. Up to 95% of infections are detectable within 4-6 weeks post exposure. Most people develop detectable antibodies in 21-25 days. The rapid test is a type of 3rd Generation test. Two forms available: finger prick blood sample or oral swab. Oral swab test is most common in the U.S. but due to false positives in Canada it is not approved and blood collection is more likely. Many places in the U.S. and abroad may charge a fee for rapid testing. Conclusive at 3 months post exposure. |