Anonymous
Dear all,

First of all i would like to thank you for the service and support you provide!

and now to my question..
I had a risky HIV exposure almost 9 weeks ago and since than I have developed pretty much every ARS symptom in the book.
It all started 3 weeks after exposure: night sweats, fever, weight loss (7 kg), after that enlarged lymph nodes in groin, then armpit, then neck.
At the same time I was diagnosed with pharyngitis (sore throat with rased bumps on lymhatic tissue-back of the throat), and I have read in BASHH guidelines it is a symptom of ars.
Now at this moment I was sure I was infected so my doctor told me to get tested at 4 weeks, so I did the following:
4 weeks duo - negative
5 weeks duo - negative
6 weeks duo - negative
7 - weeks duo - negative
almost 8 weeks duo - negative

I dont know why these test comes back negative, I have also changed 3 clinics just to be sure if there is something wrong with the test.
My question:
How long after onset of ARS will people test positive?
I have also read new (2014) UK window peroid guidelines saying 8 weeks duo is conclusive, when do you consider it is conclusive:
http://std.sagepub.com/content/26/10/760.short?rss=1&ssource=mfr
Tommorow I am going to take my 9 week duo test and I am so scared it will turn out to be positive.

Please answer...

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Anonymous
Hi there, and thanks a lot for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline for your HIV/AIDS related health information. It seems you're concerned about the possibility of HIV transmitting during an encounter, and the accuracy of some tests you've had since then. We're happy to answer your question for you.

We at AIDS Vancouver are not healthcare providers, so cannot comment on any symptoms you may be experiencing. However, HIV infections are never diagnosed based on symptoms alone, simply because the symptoms of an HIV infection are quite common to many other common medical conditions. Testing is the only way to diagnose an HIV infection, so it's great you've gone for testing. If you're concerned about any symptoms you're experiencing, we'd encourage you to see a healthcare provider. We can also say that "ARS" are symptoms people with HIV experience as they progress to AIDS, which typically occurs many years after the initial infection.

Here is a bit more information on the DUO test you've had:


You'll see in this chart that there is a bit of disagreement as to when the DUO test is considered conclusive. In Canada, where we are, our guidelines state that the DUO test is considered conclusive, meaning the results are taken as accurate, 12 weeks post exposure. Based on our guidelines we'll recommend you get a confirmatory test at 12 weeks. Your tests are a very good indicator of your present status, however.

Thanks a lot for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline with your question, we hope it has been answered fully.

Trevor

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online

helpline.aidsvancouver.org
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Test Name Method Window Period Conditions
4th Generation EIA Blood test that looks for antibodies AND p24 protein antigens. Commonly referred to as the "combination," "combo" or "DUO" test. P24 protein is detectable immediately after infection but only for the first few weeks. The antibody (ab) test has a window period of 4-12 weeks post exposure. This test is widely available in North America. Most HIV specialists consider this test to be conclusive at 6 weeks but official HIV testing guidelines still recommend re-testing at 12 weeks for conclusive results. Conclusive at 3 months post exposure. |