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What is the window period for HIV test?

Answered by
Dr.
Dr. S. Murugan

HIV AIDS Specialist

Practicing since :1974

Answered : 2801 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 2 Nov 2015 in HIV and AIDS
Question: Hello my name is XXXXXXX and i would like to know if its possible to have hiv like symptoms while testing negative i know it takes months after intercourse to even come up on a test but just wanna know for instance if you have intercourse and then see symptoms 3 days later but still test negative could it be possible to still have it ?
doctor
Answered by Dr. S. Murugan 54 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Tests for HIV/STD become reliable after 4 weeks.

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Welcome to HCM.
Thanks for posting your query.
Earliest symptoms of HIV can occur only after 3-4 weeks of exposure in the presence of infection, if any, and not earlier than that. Certain STD manifestations can occur after 3 days. But you had not mentioned what symptoms you had.
Regarding the test the antigen detecting tests(P24, PCR) can become positive by 1st week on wards and become more confirmatory by 4 weeks whereas the antibody detection tests (Rapid, ELISA, Western blot) become reliable only after the widow period (6-8 weeks and may be delayed up to 12 weeks).
Feel free to ask if you have further questions.
Dr S.Murugan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. S. Murugan 20 hours later
sore throat swollen lymph nodes tired feeling body aches white tongue cough diarrhea which i know are all the same as the common cold but with the circumstance of my actions toppled with getting sick right after and then looking at the internet which i know is the worst thing to do but i went to the doctor he said i was fine as far as he could see espeially with hiv just sick but i like to know as much as possible
doctor
Answered by Dr. S. Murugan 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
Sore thorat can occur to anybody.

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Welcome back.
As you pointed out sore throat can occur to anybody. Other symptoms are related to throat infection only. Even an intimate contact during sexual contact one could get an air born transmission of sore throat due to common bacteria and not necessarily due to HIV which can manifest after 3-4 weeks at the earliest, in the presence of an infection. HIV testing after the window period can rule out HIV infection. Other predilections about HIV could not be reliable.
Dr S.Murugan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. S. Murugan 13 hours later
here is my point i only thought hiv because i looked up my symptoms and that was the first thing that came but i got tested and it said negative now i understand its too early to tell but by common sense if you test negative for something at that moment then wouldnt your symptons be brought on from something else ?
doctor
Answered by Dr. S. Murugan 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
more details about the negative test necessary to decide next step.

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Welcome back.
Your symptoms could be due to some common bacterial disease that can be confirmed by culture from the specimen taken from the throat through a throat swab.
You had not mentioned that what test you had for HIV which came negative and how many days after the exposure you had the test? Furnish more details about the test.
Dr S.Murugan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. S. Murugan 5 hours later
lets say intercourse was on friday and symptoms on sunday and test was on wendesday and test was blood and urine is it possible to even get symptoms that fast or would it just be something else and symptoms are less ans less by day
doctor
Answered by Dr. S. Murugan 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
HIV symptoms can not occur within 2-3 days in presence of an infection

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Welcome back.

HIV disease after an infection it takes not less than 72 hours to get established in blood after the entry. Symptoms can occur only after 3-4 weeks not earlier than this. Blood test (antigen test: PCR, P24) may become positive after a week and become more conclusive by 4 weeks in the presence of an infection.
Anything earlier than this could not be due to HIV, but could be due to some other infection.
Dr S.Murugan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. S. Murugan 38 minutes later
thank you for your council
doctor
Answered by Dr. S. Murugan 36 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Most welcome

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
You are welcome. If you have no further questions you can close this conversation. Dr S Murugan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
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