Our expert says:
Most HIV tests are antibody tests that measure the antibodies your body makes against HIV. It can take some time for the immune system to produce enough antibodies for the antibody test to detect, and this time period can vary from person to person. This time period is commonly referred to as the “window period.” Most people will develop detectable antibodies within 2 to 8 weeks (the average is 25 days). Even so, there is a chance that some individuals will take longer to develop detectable antibodies. Therefore, if the initial negative HIV test was conducted within the first 3 months after possible exposure, repeat testing should be considered >3 months after the exposure occurred to account for the possibility of a false-negative result. Ninety-seven percent of persons will develop antibodies in the first 3 months following the time of their infection. In very rare cases, it can take up to 6 months to develop antibodies to HIV.
Another type of test is an RNA test, which detects the HIV virus directly. The time between HIV infection and RNA detection is 9–11 days. These tests, which are more costly and used less often than antibody tests, are used in some parts of the United States.
A rapid HIV test is also an antibody test. The advantage of a rapid test is that you do not have to return to get your test result - results are usually available in about 30 minutes. Rapid tests are single-use and do not require laboratory facilities or highly trained staff. This makes rapid tests particularly suitable for use in countries with limited resources. Though the test is 'rapid' at providing results, it is still an antibody test, so it is advisable to wait three months before taking it.
You need to go to a clinic for HIV testing.
Feel free to contact our helpline – 0860100262 where you could be assisted in finding a practitioner as close as possible to you.
Furthermore you are welcome to visit the following website for any more sexual health information and assignments that could be helpful: www.sexualhealth.co.za
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal
advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.