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Unprotected sex,chest infection,negative HIV test.HIV?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 2007
Answered : 362 Questions
Hi doctor, I have a query in relation to HIV which is causing me a lot of worry. I had a on night unprotected vaginal intercourse with an african women while I was travelling. Her HIV status unkown . Since then I have taken a HIV duo test at 30 days and HIV tests at my local gum nhs gum clinic at 3,6 and 12 months. I have also had two private HIV test, which I was told is the same used by blood banks at 3 and 12 months after a possible exposure. Thankfully all of my tests have been negative. Despite these results I still have a fear that I may have HIV. I have researched online that HIV has multiple strains and could mutate very quickly with several new strains being found recently. Could you please help me and confirm if modern testing would accuratly detect all know HIV strains any that may appear? Also is there anyother tests that I could take to 100% rule out that I don't have HIV? I have also had no real symtoms I have only had two chest infections within the last 12 months. I look forward to your response.
Posted Fri, 20 Apr 2012 in HIV and AIDS
Answered by Dr. Kiran Kumar 11 hours later

I understand your concerns and appreciate that you have explained your problem in detail.

After any type of exposure (Vaginal, Blood, needle Injury), it takes on average one month for a patient to develop antibodies and tests usually become positive in 1 - 3 months time.

I agree there are multiple serotypes, however, the routine testing is sufficient to identity the major HIV antigen which is present in all types of HIV.

Since you have tested negative at 12 months, it is highly unlikely that you would have contracted infection.

The best confirmatory test for you would be Western Blot Testing.

If it is negative, and I assure you it will be, then you do not need any further evaluation.

So be reassured.

Hope this answers your question.

Do get back if you need any further information.

Thanks and Regards,
Dr Kiran
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Unprotected sex,chest infection,negative HIV test.HIV? 1 hour later
Thank you for response. Are you saying that if I had a new strain of HIV i would test positive with modern testing as all HIV strains have a common connection? Could you explain this a bit further? Also do you think that should continue to test?
Answered by Dr. Kiran Kumar 36 hours later

Thanks for writing back.

Yes. Even if its a new strain, the major antigens are common for all HIV and will be tested with current testing methods.

So its impossible that you have contracted infection and are negative after 12 months.

Be reassured.

Dr Kiran
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Unprotected sex,chest infection,negative HIV test.HIV? 38 minutes later
thank you for your response. one last and final question. why is it that some medical websites say that a new strain my not be detected with current testing if the antigens are the same of all HIV?
Answered by Dr. Kiran Kumar 24 hours later

Thanks again.

The major antigens associated with HIV remain the same irrespective of the strain.

So, if a test is used which tests for minor antigens, there can be some strains which can be missed. However, current standard tests requires only the major antigens.

So be reassured.

Take Care

Dr Kiran
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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