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Can I take HIV tracing test after 7 weeks of exposure?

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Pathologist and Microbiologist
Practicing since : 2006
Answered : 6666 Questions
Hello Doctor, This XXXXX, 31 years old/Male. I have some queries regarding HIV. Around 7 weeks back I had a sexual relationship with an unknow partner. I used condom properly but only one thing worries me that, as during foreplay I was stimulating her vagina with my left hand index fingure and before putting a condom I went to toilet to wash my hands properly. My left hand index fingure was with her vaginal fluids and I used my right hand along with left hand to rub the soap & water for washing. I had a cut on my right hand index figure. The cut was not fresh neither actively bleeding but quite deep and open. 1) Now, I am worried as there was a cut on my right hand index fingure, which I had used to rub the soap and water on the left hand for washing the vaginal fluid, makes any chance for the HIV infection on me if the partner is running with HIV infection? 2) Is the above case really demanding for me to proceed for a HIV test as I fell sometime that, I am over reacting to the above case and sometimes I fell as to proceed for the test to get ensure about the problem? 3) As, I had spend aroud 7 weeks from the day of sex, am I am reliable for any HIV tracing test? If yes then what will be the best type of test I need to follow for the same, which can give me accurate results quickly under low window period? 4) I searched this on internet and found HIV 4th generation test is the latest one but no where in Bangalore it is done so the alternative may be 3rd generation HIV test or PCR or rapid test. So for this test what will be the normal window period is required (is 7 weeks is enough) and what is the % of accuracy on this? Please guide me on the above with your valuable advices along with any reference of lab or doctors contacts in Bnaglore for the above to consult further. Thanks, XXXXX
Posted Sat, 7 Dec 2013 in HIV and AIDS
Answered by Dr. Shailja Puri 43 minutes later
Brief Answer: ELISA for HIV is the first line investigation. Detailed Answer: Hello, Thank you for posting your query on XXXXXXX The transmission of HIV virus occurs by the sexual route, contaminated needles, and from mother to child. The mode that you have mentioned is unlikely to transmit the virus. However, to be doubly sure, you can get HIV tests done. The window period lasts for four weeks after exposure to the virus, so after seven months you are out of window period. The first line test for HIV is the ELISA for HIV. If this test is reactive, further HIV PCR is done to confirm since it is a very sensitive test. If the ELISA is non-reactive, no further investigation is required since it is a very specific test. If you have more queries, I will be glad to answer. Dr Shailja P Wahal
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Can I take HIV tracing test after 7 weeks of exposure? 17 hours later
Hello, Doctor, Thanks for the reply. Some more queries. Is it true that ELISA test required 3months of time gap from the day of infection? If so, as I am running of 7 weeks of gap, will this test going to give me accurate result? or directly I can proceed for HIV PCR test to confirm and close this matter? Thanks, XXXXX
Answered by Dr. Shailja Puri 2 hours later
Brief Answer: HIV ELISA test is usually done before PCR Detailed Answer: Hello and welcome again, Yes it is true that the ELISA test or the HIV antibody test requires 3 months to become reactive. If you do not want to wait for 3 months, you can go for PCR test which detects the virus within 3 months. However, PCR test is expensive and will be available at specialized labs whereas ELISA test is done on voluntary basis at any ICTC centres. Thanks and take care Dr Shailja P Wahal
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