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What is the window period for STD tests?

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Posted on Wed, 18 May 2016
Question: I recently had sex and oral sex for the first time without protection (a week ago). I admit I felt very guilty and anxious and nervous about right after. The woman in question is on birth control but has had multiple partners.

That following morning I got home, I put hydrogen peroxide on my penis (iodine two days later. I had severe diarrhea and dehydration hit me the day after and the next morning. I am thinking more due to my anxiety. I've had night sweats, loss of appetite, abdominal pain.

On Monday, The tip of my penis, urethra, burn. My testicles tender. My throat has been scratchy and tip of tongue like it was burned. I went to a health department for testing and due to the symptoms I got a shot for Gonorhea and Zithromycin (1000 mg) for chlamydia. Today I got a test for HSV.

I am sure I have something. My questions are:

How soon do most symptoms start with STDs?

Assuming I got a viral STD like HIV or Hep, how soon can I take those tests or know if I am out of the clear?

Thank you.
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Answered by Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Within two week for HIV, and four weeks for Hepatitis B. Retesting recommended..

Detailed Answer:
Hi and thanks for the query to HCM,

For HIV, most of the screening tests are quite sensitive that the result of you are infected or not could be known within two to three weeks after infection.

However, even in case of negativity, it is recommended to rerun the test after three months, as the test could still remain negative, even in case of infection in a small proportion of individuals.

For Hepatitis B, within four weeks after infection, test results with usual testing kits today should be able to offer definitive results of whether one is infected or not. However, even in case of a positive result, rerunning the test in six months is important. This is because, 10% of persons will naturally become negative after initial infection with hepatitis B virus after six months. Most (90%) become chronic carriers.

I would advice you get in touch with your primary care physician for a detailed physical evaluation.

Thanks and kind regards as I wish you the best of health.

Dr Bain
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee
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Answered by
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Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2009

Answered : 3092 Questions

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What is the window period for STD tests?

Brief Answer: Within two week for HIV, and four weeks for Hepatitis B. Retesting recommended.. Detailed Answer: Hi and thanks for the query to HCM, For HIV, most of the screening tests are quite sensitive that the result of you are infected or not could be known within two to three weeks after infection. However, even in case of negativity, it is recommended to rerun the test after three months, as the test could still remain negative, even in case of infection in a small proportion of individuals. For Hepatitis B, within four weeks after infection, test results with usual testing kits today should be able to offer definitive results of whether one is infected or not. However, even in case of a positive result, rerunning the test in six months is important. This is because, 10% of persons will naturally become negative after initial infection with hepatitis B virus after six months. Most (90%) become chronic carriers. I would advice you get in touch with your primary care physician for a detailed physical evaluation. Thanks and kind regards as I wish you the best of health. Dr Bain