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How soon does HIV infection get transmitted?

Answered by
Dr. S. Murugan

HIV AIDS Specialist

Practicing since :1974

Answered : 2766 Questions

Posted on Wed, 27 Aug 2014 in HIV and AIDS
Question: if you think you have been exposed to HIV, how soon after can you infect others? Does it have to show up in a blood test before you can infect others?
Answered by Dr. S. Murugan 22 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Before blood test positive, patient is infectious.

Detailed Answer:
Welcome to HCM.
Thanks for posting your query.

Blood test can reveal conclusively HIV 1 (commonest) infection by the end of 4 weeks after the high risk contact with antigen based test and both HIV 1&2 by about completion of 12 weeks with any antibody based tests.

But the one who have the HIV infection can definitely infect other partner before the test shows positive results. From the day 3 on wards he would be infectious.
I hope that you got the answers for your doubts. Feel free to ask if you have any more clarification.
DR S.Murugan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. S. Murugan 23 hours later
I'm not sure whether or not I was exposed to HIV but i had sex with a girl that i don't know, still don't know who she is or where to find her, it was a one night stand. The next day I had sex with another girl I do know. Are you saying if it was within 3 days of possibly being exposed it's unlikely that I would infect the girl I had sex with 2nd, if i was infected by the first girl?
Answered by Dr. S. Murugan 47 minutes later
Brief Answer:
All exposed to HIV not necessarily got infected.

Detailed Answer:
Welcome back.

Theory is different from actual happening.

The first girl would not be a HIV positive girl.

Even if we assume she is a HIV infected girl, we may not be sure when you will become infectious to others. Medicine is not mathematics to have a constant answers. It may vary anything from 72 hours to a week from the date of contact.
Moreover all those exposed not necessarily got infected. As per CDC, vaginal sex carries a risk for HIV as 5 per 10000 exposures only.
Many partners of the infected (40%), remains HIV free throughout the world in spite of their regular sex life with their infected partners and are called as Sero-Discordant couple. So unnecessarily, you need not worry much. It is better to have rule out HIV with appropriate blood test for you and your girl friend.
Dr S.Murugan

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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