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Hello doctor. I would like to know the window period for HIV testing. Cause I have a 4th generation at 25th day with a rapid antibody test on the 11th week, but I'm presently having symptoms from the third week to this present time. Which includes generalized lymph nodes on my groin and neck oral thrush and mouth sore just all the symptoms in the book .but my partner was negative we are both testing at the end of 3months but do we still test at 6months . Fear and anxiety is killing me already.

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replied January 31st, 2018
HIV and AIDS Answer A63040
Welcome to e health forum.

For technical reasons, the window period that you are referring to is the duration or time that a individual suspected to be exposed to HIV , needs to wait or be under surveillance before he can be confirmed to be not infected and not in need of any further surveillance or screening tests.

The period that a person suspected of being infected needs to be under surveillance for HIV varies from 3 months to 1 year depending on his sexual history and the mode of exposure. In low risk cases it would be 3 months to 6 months. In High risk cases, it can extend beyond 6 months.

The window period is time between exposure to a infective agent and the point when the infection can be accurately detected by a laboratory test.

During the window period if a infected person gets tested, he might have negative test results.

With respect to HIV infection (type 1 or type 2), the minimum waiting period before testing with a 4th generation antigen/antibody test is four weeks. At this time this test will detect 95% of infections. After a three month window period after exposure, the confirmatory test will detect more than 99.97% of infections.

If a test done after 12 weeks post exposure, is negative then it is more likely that you are not infected with HIV.

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