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    What is the window period for HIV transmission after exposure?

Posted on Mon, 24 Jul 2017 in HIV and AIDS
Question: is it true that it can take up to 10 years for HIV to show up in your system. I thought it was 6 mos. after exposure that it would show up, but an LPN and a clinic said it could take up to 10 years. What is correct?
Answered by Dr. Rudina Balliu 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
After 10 years the infection shows up for real

Detailed Answer:
Hello! Thank you for asking HealthCareMagic.
I have gone through your question and I can understand your concerns.

The Virus really shows up even after 10 years.

The symptoms of HIV( When he shows up) depends on the individual and what stage of the disease an infected person is, the infection has 3 stages:

1) Early stage -the person may experience flu -like symptoms (usually within 4 weeks after HIV infection)that consist of Fever, chills, rash, sore throat, muscles aches, night sweats, fatigue...These could be the first symptoms of HIV infection (the first show up). Some persons may never experience this early stage ( no symptoms).

2)Clinical latency stage - After the early stages the persons get better and have no symptoms for years (up to 10 years ).

3) AIDS,( the late stage of HIV infection) After 10 years of no symptoms the virus really show up in the body, destroy the immune system (AIDS) and further complications.

Hope I have answered your question.
Let me know if you have any further clarifications, I will be happy to help.

Take Care!
Dr Balliu

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee
Follow up: Dr. Rudina Balliu 1 hour later
I'm talking about testing for HIV. Does it take 10 years before HIV shows up as a positive test. Like how long do you have to wait after having risky behavior to have the virus show up positive or negative in a test

I was told it takes 6 mos. after risky behavior for the test to be accurate. Then, I was told it takes 10 years after risky behavior to have an accurate test, but I could have misunderstood. Is it 6 mos or 10 years waiting period to get an accurate answer from a test?

Is there a doctor working on this? It doesn't say that there is. I'm just wondering because I am really looking for an answer to this question, please. Thank you
Answered by Dr. Rudina Balliu 7 hours later
Brief Answer:
6 months will be enough

Detailed Answer:
Hello again!
Thank your for your clarification.
I am sorry for my late reply , your follow up came to me during the night hours.
6 months is more than enough for HIV tests to be 100% accurate .Not 10 years .

There are different type of tests that can be used to detect HIV and you can try .

-You can take a test after 12 weeks ( 3 months ) is called HIV -antibody testing .This test detect the antibodies against HIV that usually show up in the blood 3-12 weeks after a person get infected.

-Another test is a combination test ( detect the antibodies and antigen /part of the virus cell .) you can take this test 2- 6 weeks after esposure .

-Another test is a nucleic test(NATtest) , this is very expensive and is not used routenly for screeming .Can be done 1-4 weeks after infection.

So I would recommend to talk with your local doctor more about the options you have ( test that they can offer you to do) .I think after 3 months of exposure you can do a first test .

Hope my answer is helpful.
Wish you good health!
Dr Balliu
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
Answered by
Dr. Rudina Balliu

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2015

Answered : 420 Questions


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