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    What is the window period for an HIV test?

Posted on Fri, 3 Jun 2016 in Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Question: Hello.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with HSV2. Initially I had one outbreak followed by weeks of reoccurring oral thrush. In the past 5 months I've had no symptoms until now. Within those past 5 months I was relationship in a relationship and eventually had sex without condoms.

Recently my thrush has come back. I have taken two oraquick HIV tests that have both come out negative. What are the chances of an HIV infection (given negative tests) or rather, my reoccurring symptoms from HSV2?
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 48 minutes later
Brief Answer:
need to do the test after the window period has passed

Detailed Answer:
HI, thanks for using healthcare magic

The window period of a test is the time from exposure to the point when a particular test would give an accurate result.
This can vary according to the test done.

If a test is done before the window period then it is possible that the result is inaccurate, if it is done after then it is likely accurate.
For example , if the window period of a test is 2 weeks and you take the test 1 week after unprotected sex, then it would not give an accurate result as yet, would need to wait at least one or more weeks.

The window period of the oraquick test is 4 to 6 weeks for some, some brands may state 3 months. The information on the inside should give the window period.

This means that if you did the test after the window period eg 3 months after your last possible exposure to HIV, the result is accurate.
If you did it before this point, it would need repeating to get an accurate picture.

EG if you had any potential exposure that put you at risk of HIV, you need to wait till after the window period to do the test and get an accurate result.

Unfortuately HSV can be potentially transmitted even if no rash or other symptoms are present, this is called asymptomatic transmission.
The use of the valcyclovir would reduce this chance

I hope this helps and is clear, if not please feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Answered by
Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 16811 Questions


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