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What are the chances that negative HIV test result at 55 days will become positive at 3 month?

Dec 2012
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Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2012
Answered : 1694 Questions
This is a question in relation to hiv. What are the chances that a negative hiv test result at 55 days will become positive at the 3 month mark? Or is this result at 55 days conclusive?? The test used was a hiv duo test which checks for p24 antigen plus antibodies
Posted Sat, 14 Sep 2013 in HIV and AIDS
Answered by Dr. Nsah Bernard 46 minutes later
Brief Answer:
HIV antibody testing is not 100% reliable

Detailed Answer:

Using ELISA antibody testing for HIV is not 100% reliable, that is why there is a 3 months sero-conversion interval before another test is conducted. The reason behind this 3 months XXXXXXX is because HIV virus, ones in a new host's blood system will take about 3 months for sero-conversion to take place (i.e from a state of latency to a state of active infection) and that is the approximate period when the antibody testing can be positive or negative (depending on the fact that the host might have been infected or not). Let me be more explicit, if you are in contact with an infected person (unprotected) and by some odd chance you were infected with the virus, it has been determined that from that point, doing HIV test using ELISA alone can reveal negative, until after 3 months, then the test can reveal negative or positive. The most reliable HIV diagnostic testing is PCR (polymerase chain reaction) which has more than 99% efficiency and specificity.
At my clinic, after performing rapid ELISA testing, I usually give them appointment for 3 months another test, after which I am certain that they could not have been infected 3 months before and could have only been infected in a later period.

Hope the answer I have provided is explicit and clear enough and if you have any further question, feel free to ask.
Dr. Nsah
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