Anonymous
If a person gets hiv will they show symptoms 3 days from when they were exposed to it? Why or why not? Can't symptoms show up at any time, everybody has a different reaction to the virus and every persons body is different, so how can we be sure when acute symptoms or symptoms in general show up? And you all say that they go away after they start, how do you know this? Symptoms seem that they can show up and last at whatever time after a person really becomes infected with hiv
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Anonymous
Hello and thank you for your questions. In 3rd and 4th generation HIV tests, the testing window is between 4 weeks to 3 months. Testing at 3 months is considered conclusive because the research into HIV has shown that this is the period of time it takes for antibodies to develop. Testing at 3 months is considered over 99% accurate,

There are certain conditions when testing later than 3 months is needed. For example, a person who has been receiving anti-viral treatment for Hepatitis C, chemotherapy, or has another immunodeficiency disease may be tested again at 6 months. Someone who has been on P.E.P (Post Exposure Prophylaxis) treatment needs to be tested 3 months after completion of the PEP medication.

Symptoms are not used to diagnose the presence of HIV since they may resemble symptoms that can occur in various other illnesses, and so are not reliable for diagnosing HIV. Only the blood test can tell you whether or not you have the virus.

If you have tested negative at 3 months but are still worried, you may wish to get re-tested in a few months, but in general you can certainly trust an HIV test result at 3 months after exposure.

I hope this helps to answer your questions. Please contact the Helpline again if you need more information.

In Health,

Marnelle,

AIDS Vancouver Volunteer

Monday to Friday 10AM to 4PM PST

1-604-253-0566 ext 299

Private and Confidential
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