Dr. Tan and Partners is one of the few approved Anonymous HIV Testing Centres in Singapore. A detailed write up on our service is available here.

Other STD services: Early STD Screening, Rapid Hepatitis B Blood Test, Swab for Gonorrhea and many more... contact us to make an appointment now!

HIV – Understanding the Window Period

Asian Geographic article on HIV

Asian Geographic article on HIV

The HIV window period often is the cause of a lot of confusion.

There is a lot of information on the web throwing up numbers like 3 months, 6 months even 1 year. So what exactly if the HIV window period?

To better understand this, let us take a step back in time to when HIV was first discovered. At the same time, learn a little about how our immune system works.

The HIV virus was discovered in 1983. Prior to that, it was not known what was causing the disease known as AIDS that was ravaging certain communities in the world.

After scientists discovered the existence of the HIV virus, they had to find a way to determine if a person has this virus in his body or not.

The ELISA Test and Our Immune System

In 1985, they developed a test called ELISA which is based on a very basic principle of how our immune systems work.

When our body is attacked by a virus, it will produce anti-bodies to fight the virus. Anti-bodies are unique. The anti-bodies used to fight HIV would be completely different to the ones used to fight dengue, for example, or any other virus.

So finding HIV anti-bodies in the body is indirect evidence that there is HIV virus in the body too. The ELISA test does exactly that. It tests for the presence of HIV anti-bodies.

Click here to learn about the Different Generations of ELISA

Imagine each virus infection is a fire that starts in the body. Each of these fires produces a uniquely colored smoke. When we see a particular colored smoke, we assume that there is that particular type of fire burning away. The ELISA tests for HIV colored smoke but does not detect the fire itself.

But there was one big problem. It sometimes takes the body a long time before the body produces enough anti-bodies to be detected by the ELISA test. In other words, the fire has to burn for a long time before it produces enough smoke that can be detected by ELISA.

This period when a person is infected with HIV and the ELISA test is unable to pick it up (the period when the fire is burning but there is no smoke) is called the window period.

This was correctly recognized to be a very important finding and rightly so because a person infected with HIV within the window period can get tested and be told he does NOT have HIV. He will then not take steps to protect himself and the people around him thus increasing the risk of spreading the disease.

Different Types of HIV Tests

Click on the picture for the latest information on the HIV testing Window Period

Click on the picture for the latest information on the HIV testing Window Period

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here for HIV Testing FAQ

Scientist has ever since been working on improving and coming up with new and better testing techniques and technology. There are now multiple different tests for HIV including ELISA, ECLIA, CMIARapid Tests, Western Blot, RNA PCR, DNA PCR and P24 Combo Tests. There are also multiple different manufacturers of each test. All of these tests have their own rates of accuracy, window periods and applications in the management of HIV. To make things even more confusing, there are also tests for indirect evidence of HIV infection like CD4 cell count and CD4 CD8 cell ratio.

So when you read somewhere or someone tells you that the window period for HIV is X number of months, your next logical question should be ‘by using which test?’

To know which test done when has what accuracy requires a lot of professional knowledge. This information is also constantly changing as more and more research information is published. There are also other considerations such as waiting time, anonymity, costs etc

It is still best to speak to Our Doctors who are certified and trained in HIV counseling and testing to find out which test is most appropriate for you.

Click here for Updates on the HIV testing Window Period

One thing remains constant. If you are at any risk of HIV at all, no matter how minute, you MUST get tested. But as for which test to do and when to test, it is still best to speak to a medical professional trained in HIV matters.

All prices quoted below excludes prevailing GST

Click here for Info on STD Symptoms in Men

Click here for Info on STD Symptoms in Women
Click here to see the full range of our HIV/STD Services

All Our Doctors are Fully Certified and Trained to conduct specialised STD and HIV Testing.

Your are welcome to visit Our Doctors at Our Clinics anytime during our opening hours.

We have 4 locations conveniently located at Robertson Walk, Bencoolen Street, Novena and Scotts (Pacific Plaza).

 

Robertson Walk            6238 7810

Bencoolen Street          6884 4119

Novena                           63972095

Scotts                              66942348 (Opening April 2015)

Click Here for Contact Details, Address and Opening Times.
Click here to contact us

 

If you have any questions, visit our free online forum on sexual health, HIV and STDs.More on HIV symptoms.If you need a HIV test visit Our Clinics anytime during our opening hours. You do not need an appointment.Find out more about Anonymous HIV testing at our clinics.Can’t wait for 3 months to find out? Find out more about Anonymous Rapid HIV Combo test at our clinics.If you had a high risk exposure to HIV within the past 72 hours, you can take medicines to reduce your risk of actually contracting HIV. Find out more on HIV PEP Treatment.We are now open on weekends.Related Articles:HIV CMIA Test AccuracyHIV ELISA and ECLIA testGetting HIV from Oral SexMore on HIV symptomsHow long can HIV live outside the body?Erectile DysfunctionPremature EjaculationTestosterone Deficiency Syndrome / Andropause

About Dr. Tan
Dr. Tan graduated from the National University of Singapore in 2001. His residency was in the two largest public hospitals in Singapore; Tan Tock Seng Hospital and Singapore General Hospital.

Find the profiles of our panel of doctors.

Consultation  $20.00-80.00
Rapid test only    $20.00
(not inclusive of test)
8am – 5pm          $60.00
5pm – 9pm         $80.00
STD screening
Standard HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis B/C, Herpes Simplex Virus Type I and II  $                                  200.00
Male
Urethritis
Urine – Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea PCR, Monilia, Trichomonas, NSU, Mycoplasma, Ureaplasma, Urine Culture, Candida  $                                  280.00
Female
Urethritis and Vaginitis
Vaginal Swab – Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea PCR, Monilia, Trichomonas PCR, Gardnerella PCR, Candida PCR, Group B StrepNSU, Mycoplasma, Ureaplasma, Direct Microscopy, Candida, Vaginal swab culture  $                                  345.00
Comprehensive (Male) Blood – Syphilis, Hepatitis B/C, Herpes Simplex Virus Type I and IIUrine – Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea PCR, Monilia, Trichomonas, NSU, Mycoplasma, Ureaplasma, Urine Culture, Candida  $                                  390.00
Comprehensive (Female) Blood – Syphilis, Hepatitis B/C, Herpes Simplex Virus Type I and IIVaginal Swab – Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea PCR, Monilia, Trichomonas PCR, Gardnerella PCR, Candida PCR, Group B StrepNSU, Mycoplasma, Ureaplasma, Direct Microscopy, Candida, Vaginal swab culture  $                                  525.00
Individual STD Tests
Determine Syphilis test Rapid Syphilis Test  $                                    50.00
Determine Hepatitis B Test Rapid Hepatitis B Test  $                                    50.00
Herpes Simplex Virus PCR  Herpes Simplex Virus Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Test  $                                  190.00
Chlamydia and Gonoccocal PCR  Chlamydia and Gonorrhea
Herpes Simplex Virus Type I IgG Antibody Herpes Type 1  $                                    40.00
Herpes Simplex Virus Type II IgG Antibody Herpes Type 2  $                                    40.00
Non-Specific Urethritis (NSU) Culture Mycoplasma, Ureaplasma  $                                  118.00
HIV test
HIV RNA/DNA Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Test  $600
Add $100 for expedited results
Rapid Fingerprick Blood HIV-1/2 P24 Antigen/Antibody Combo (HIV Duo Test) (4th generation!)  $                                  150.00
Rapid Oral Saliva HIV-1/2 Antibody Test (Oraquick)  $                                    50.00
Rapid Fingerprick Blood HIV-1/2 Antibody Test (Determine)  $                                    50.00
PEP  $2000 – $2200

3,479 Comments

  1. I had a potential exposure to HIV I took a blood test around five months later it came back negative but to come in here that the person that I had unprotected oral and sex with their old partner was HIV positive could I possibly have been exposed and test results just were on a conclusive artists results were correct please cynthia HIV anxiety off of me I’m so worried now I have a boil on my private area I really need to know if I could have been exposed 5 months before I got tested in 2013

  2. Doc I had oral an unprotected sex someone bac in 2012 I tested in Dec.2013 my blood test was negative for hiv but this year in 2015 they found out that a person they was with in 2009 had hiv please tell me I have nothing to worry about because now I have a.boil on my private area an just gettin oer a really bad cold an now I have a really bad cough lingering from my cold but it’s not a dry tough I jus cough up green flem tell me I’m ok jus thinkin to much n let me know if my blood test would be accurate after five months of possible exposure

    • Dr Elaine Loh

      HIV ELISA test is conclusive 3 months. In my opinion, there is no need to repeat unless u really want to. For the symptoms that you are experiencing, best for you to visit a doctor as you may require antibiotics.

  3. Doc I had oral an unprotected sex with someone bac in 2012 I tested in Dec.2013 my blood test was negative for hiv but this year in 2015 they found out that a person they was with in 2009 had hiv please tell me I have nothing to worry about because now I have a.boil on my private area an just gettin oer a really bad cold an now I have a really bad cough lingering from my cold but it’s not a dry tough I jus cough up green flem tell me I’m ok jus thinkin to much n let me know if my blood test would be accurate after five months of possible exposure

  4. Dear dr.Tan,
    Very much appreciate your efforts to reply to all of us deling with high stress and anxiety while waiting for final test confirmation.
    Here is my story:
    On february 5th 2015. I had possible exposure to hiv having short unptrotected insertive oral sex and short protected (by condom) vaginal sex with one street girl.
    (As that was my first time to have a sex other that the one in relationship, it came out that it is the biggest trauma I’m experiencing in my life.)
    Five days later I had a really bad sore throat with some fewer for two days. It was Bronchitis like with lots of productive cough. As I went to a vessel trip these days and it was very windy, I suppose that bad weather was the reason of it.

    In the mean time, I realized that HIV ARS include fewer and sore throat and I started to worry.

    Thee weeks after exposure I had loose stools for 5 days with no fewer but colds and burns with some throat discomfort. I was very anxeous from that time so I thing that kind of diarrea comes from my stress. I lost apetite, deprssed and start to thing only about my possible HIV infection.
    Week after I developed a kind of sore throat but on low level.
    On week five, my joints started to pain (especcialy my left hand wrist and elbow). I feel I’m dehydrated too and neck and shoulder muscles seems contracted.

    I got tested at 18 days after exposure with Elisa 4th gen./ Combo (p24+antigen) ane it came out negative.

    To summerize, how do you see the mentioned test result and does my symptomes look like the ARS ones?

    Very many thanks on your reply. After readig hundreds of sites and forums on the web I found out to be very comfortable with information you are posting on your site. Especially the ones dealing with the symptoms and window period.
    Take care and continue to do your job in the way your doing so far!
    Bob

    Three weeks

    • First of all your symptoms do not sound like HIV ARS. Secondly, I am a bit confused about the dates. Your exposure was on 5th February. This actually puts you at just a few days shy of 7 weeks. So why don’t you just go get another Combo test now and get this over with.

  5. hi dr i had sex with a csw about 2 months

  6. Hi Dr Tan,

    I had protected sex with a sex worker. About 30 sec unprotected oral sex.
    After that I found out she had flaky fingers. Worried that she might be HIV positive.

    Did a rapid combo test at 12 days past exposure and it was negative. At 3 weeks I got peeling skin on my palm and fingers. I am very worried. Is the combo test accurate at 12 days?

    Thanks for your time doc
    Worried

    • I have never heard of flaky fingers as a sign of HIV. For more details on early symptoms of HIV click HERE. A combo test at 12 days is indicative but absolutely not 100% accurate. For more details on HIV window period click HERE.

  7. Jimangwe

    Is pcr dna qualitative test result conclusive at 3 weeks from Hiv exposure while on Pep?.

    • No it is not. Officially the only conclusive test for patients who have taken PEP is an antibody or combo test at 3 months from exposure.

  8. Hi Doctor,

    I had unprotected vaginal and oral sex with a girl and she was menstruated. I felt some sours in my penis as I perform sex.
    She made an ELISA test fourth generation 21 days after and it was negative. I took mine 71 days after the day we had sex.
    Any chance I got hiv from her (assuming she was on the window period when took the test)?
    thank you

    • Yes of course there is a chance. Assuming she is HIV +ve the risk of getting HIV from unprotected vaginal sex is increased when she is on her period. However, your 4th Generation test at 71 days post exposure is conclusive and you should be much relieved. Please also screen for other STDs.

      • Thank you very much. I also did a PCR but I`m still waiting for the results. I´m glad to know my test is conclusive and I`m doing tests for other STDs (so far they were all negative).
        It was a big relive, considering I felt many of the symptoms of a acute infection.

  9. Doc
    I had unprotect sex for 45 seconds n I didn’t sperm inside in 2013 after 53 days I tested in public cclinic and on 9week I sttress so much until I began to experience bites pain all over my body, it beme nagetive. I ddnt go for 3months I did anothet home test in 6month it was nagetive and in 11 months I went to clinic and it became nagetive n my stress stopped in 11 months I startrd to recover in my body but after some times bite pains continued and now its pains n stop an pains again all over my body
    Its 1 year n 7 month since unprotected sex. Email me if its there anythng I can do or its there a chance public clinic test lied in 11 months.I dont hv acound in this forum but I do enjoy reading it

    • When I comment on HIV test accuracy, I have to assume validated test kits were used and the tests were conducted properly. If you think the “public clinic” for whatever reason conducted your test wrongly then you have to check with them. I will not know.

  10. Dr. I m suffering from oral thrush from last five days i went to doctor told its candida mild oral thrush sign of HIV i go thru hiv test its came negative he told wait for 3mnts
    But i have doudt im taking antibiotics over dose daily 1000mg azithromycon azeez 500, cipla azex 500 atm 500. why because im suffering with pimples my age 27 male, and another doudt is my kid 1yr suffered mouth ulcer i gave mouth kiss several times it chance to pass and first i got mouth ulcer that night i lick my wife vagina next days oral.thrush is infected on my tongue
    Plz give the solution i.m scare i have hiv or not

    • The only way to know if you have HIV or not is to test. Your doctor gave you very good advice to test again after the testing window period at 3 months. From now till then, there is nothing much you can do. Speak to your doctor about your oral thrush. It could be caused by all those antibiotics you are on.

  11. hi dr tan! is it possible for me to send blood samples from my country to your clinic to get pcr dna test for hiv 1 hiv 2? then you can just email the results to me? because we do not have a pcr dna test here in my country only pcr rna test which is use for viral load testing. thank you very much

    • Yes you can however the process is complex. You have to find a lab that can spin down and prepare your blood within 4 hours of collection. Then you have to find a courier specialized in sending biological samples. As I understand it will costs about USD500 for 1 trip. We will proceed with the test once we receive payment from you. Also, there is no PCR for HIV 2 in Singapore. Only HIV 1.

  12. Dear Sir,
    (Hiv 1&2 Abs+p.24 Ag) this test I did already. is this is a combo test. i did this three times and (HIV- Enhanced Chemiluminenscence Detection- ECIQ) two times with in 1 year margin. now i have some eye concentration problem started and swollen lymb nodes. Also i read that in some person hiv virus cannot be detectable in blood for more than years.
    Pls Help sir and iam worried because of this i cant even do anything. Pl help me Sir 1. Is this a case of Sero-negative HIV. 2.If iam in sero-negative HIV which test i have to do for the conclusion or the test which i did already is covering the sero- negative hiv 3. Is the test which i did is a combo test.
    Awaiting for your valuable rply sir.

  13. Dear Sir,
    I had unprotected sex in June 2013. I did a test after six months (ECIQ)ITS RESULT IS 0.02 non-reactive. after 6 months ie, in Sep 2014 i did a test (Hiv 1&2 Abs+p.24 Ag)its also non-reactive.my doubts are: 1). Is(Hiv 1&2 Abs+p.24 Ag) this is a combo test. 2)Is this a case of Sero-negative HIV because symptoms like swollen lymp nodes and eye concentration problems still there.
    Because of fear i cant even complete my jobs.
    I f its a sero negative hiv case which test i have to do to find my status.
    pl rply sir

  14. Hi doctor. I French kissed and got a handjob from a masseuse of an unknown status. I taste blood when we kissed. I got negative after general testing (HIV/Syphilis/Gonorrhoea etc.) after 5 weeks+ of exposure . Should I retest at the 3rd month mark?
    Thank you for your advice doctor.

    • Yes you should. I am assuming the HIV and Syphilis tests you did were standard HIV Ab and VDRL tests. These should be repeated at 3 months. But the chance of it being positive at 3 months given your 5 weeks results is really remote.

      • In ur experience, since the chances are remote, are there any documentated cases on my exposure and should I be really worried? I’m having alot of anxiety here. And yes i took the Ab test. I swear it was just kissing and handjob. No other sexual activities.

  15. Hi Doctor,

    I only sucked the boob of a girl of unknown HIV status and did not involve in any other activity.after this incident I stopped these kind of activities because of the fear.

    After 5 months and 10 days, I went for hiv test in a clinic and it came back negative. I know boob sucking will not transmit hiv, but still worried. Please help , are my results conclusive?.

    • Sucking/Licking/Kissing the breasts and nipples carries absolutely no risk of HIV. I know breast milk carries the HIV virus but breastfeeding an infant regularly is very very different from Sucking/Licking/Kissing the breasts and nipples.

      • Dear Dr,

        Even if unknowingly, something(milk or blood) had gone through the mouth from the nipple, and my negative result after 5 months and 10 days from these activity mean I am HIV NEGATIVE right ?

        Please advice.Thanks,

  16. Hi doc,

    I have been to strip clubs many time and have sucked boobs and nipples of girls, kissed them (tongue kissing too) and have kept my mouth on vagina but not licked it.
    Also have been to many massage girls and had massages. Once I encountered a sex with a massagist, she performed 2 time oral sex on me with condom
    Both the times and also performed vagina sex which lasted for 5 min with a condom on as well.. However I am not sure of her being tested or having HIV.. She said she was clean though which I cannot test.. I fingered her as well and she licked my finger after that.. At that time I did have a dark patch itchy skin at the side of my thighs which are still there and I am getting it treated which is becoming better day by day.. I am just 25 days after all this happened and have not taken a test yet.. Fear is killing me daily and I am not able to concentrate on my daily work not socialize with my friends.. Please advise what I should do..

  17. Hello Dr.,
    I am 25 years old exposed to hiv,
    Recently I did sex with a prostitue with protected vaginal sex but I did unprotected oral sex(licked her vagina for 30sec )… I don’t know whether she is infected with hiv or not …but I am really worried ..
    Because there are few cracks on my lips …
    And exactly after 2 weeks of exposure I got diarrhea for 3 days …
    And after 4 weeks I got swollen lymph nodes under neck & white thrush on my tongue & ulcers in mouth …so.,I am soo anxious about this doctor please help me .,
    I did hiv combo test after 12weeks (84 days) …
    And the result is Negative ….so.,should I need an hiv test again after 6 months …please doctor help me …
    Thank you .,

  18. Sir, I had 2 rapid test and 1 Elisa test (in 2014) 2 year after expose (in 2012)..all the test give negative result..it is conclusive?..I’m worry because end of last year I give birth and nursing my baby…

  19. I had unprotected sex on Nov 15 & 22. Ever since I had cold. Found malaria and typhoid was treated. I did HIV test Alere determine at 3 weeks, 4 weeks, 53days,63days after exposure and all negative.

    Presently I av chest pain, I’ve had muscle aches since 4weeks now, I had severe headache in d past weeks but better now, tingling fingers and fleets, I feel weak and walk imbalance.

    Help me.

    • Your Alere HIV Determine test at 63 days is already very accurate. There is really no need to be concerned. Get another test at 3 months to be sure.

      • The body pains ans aches gives me alot if concern and fears. Alere determine is a 4th generation test???? Isn’t it conclusive at 28days? Why the advice to retest at 3months

  20. sir,I had sex with unknown girl without condom before 1 years.After 5 days I gone for HIV test,Elisa 1 & 2 and found negative..is there any chance for HIV infection after Elisa test ? does Elisa test work after 5 days of having sex? plz guide me …I don’t understand what to do?

    • The ELISA test at 5 days post exposure is completely useless. The first 10 days after exposure is called the eclipse period where all tests for HIV are inaccurate.

      • sir, what should I do? one year is past but I don’t feel any symptom of hiv as weight loss,flu,fever,diarrhea nothing.After one year exposure if any symptoms which promptly come please tell me and please suggest so that I get rid of my fear.

        • My dear, i am not a doctor but i am somewhat informed on this issue cos i follow this forum. HIV Infection has no symptoms perse… it is the manifestation of Aids or the full blown HIV that has those symptoms and it cannot be AIDS after one year pOst exposure. You can be infected but yet feel fine and strong, cos the virus hasnt fully taken over due to your imune system battling to keep it down, but whence the battle is lost, you will have full blown AIDS hence the onset of those syptoms. You may still not be infected but The only way to be sure is to get tested and since its upto a year Post exposure time, the Test will be conclusive.

  21. Hello doctor, thank you for reading my comment. I am really tensed about getting hiv from an event happened to me on november 1. I am from india a 21 year old uncercumcised male. I had sex for the first time that day with an escort and it was a group sex an i was the 4 and last guy to have protected vaginal sex. But she told me that condom broke and i washed my penis head with whisky. As later at 40 day i got hiv 1/2 antiaigen and antibody test and p24 combo test and it came non reactive with 0.06 value. What are my chances and is there any other test required to be confirm. Need a urgent peice of advice is tensed reading stuff online.

    Sent from my iPhone

    • You washed your penis with whisky?! In my opinion your Combo test is conclusive.

  22. A few months ago I was with this girl. Now we did not have sex but I was licking and sucking her breasts and nipples to the point they became sore and the skin began to break. There was no blood from the tiny tears, but is it possible to catch an std such as HIV from a bloodless tear in the skin once it made contact with my saliva? Where I am not too sexually active I found out she is more active and doesn’t get tested.

    • You cannot get HIV from sucking/licking her nipples even if the skin did break.

  23. Dear Dr. Tan,

    I had sex with an escort for the first time- just yesterday and I’m really scared now that I could have gotten something from him. We had anal sex but he did use a condom, but what I’m really worried about is I did oral on him, but he did not release in my mouth, but I have just recently gotten braces and, of so I do have the occasional blisters and bleeding of gums because of the adjustment on my teeth. Do you think it’s possible I could get some hiv/std?? When do you think I should get a test??? I’m really scared. Thank you doctor.

    • Since you used a condom, your risk of getting HIV is rather low. However, this cannot be said for the risk of STDs. You are at risk of various STDs including Herpes, HPV, Syphilis, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia etc. Click here and here for more info on STD symptoms in oral and anal sex.

  24. Hi Dr. Tan,

    I had receptive anal sex with another guy as well as oral but it was all protected with a condom, pretty sure the condom didn’t fail. He wasn’t a stranger and he told me he was HIV negative, but I have nothing to prove this. There was no ejaculation inside as well, though I know there’s still a theoretical risk with pre-cum etc. This was October 31st this year.

    Around December 8 I started getting what seemed like strep throat or something (swollen, tender lymph nodes in neck, severe sore throat), went to GUM clinic on Dec 10 and said it’s most likely just a throat infection and was reassured because they were my only symptoms (apart from subsequent mild oral thrush but that didn’t start until a couple of days into my Penicillin V course, so it’s hardly unexplained.) This along with a negative 4th gen test on Dec 10 (40 days after possible exposure) helped calm my anxiety.

    Would you say a negative 4th gen lab test (not rapid) at 40 days is conclusive?

    • Yes I would. Also I would say your exposure was really low risk. Don’t worry.

  25. DECEMBER 27, 2014
    After 6 weeks exposure I am still having symptoms. fatigue, bad cough, dry skin, dry mouth muscle aches etc. Doctor I would like to know if i Was to have started seroconversion illness at 6 weeks would my HIV blood test from the lab t 10 weeks post exposure have picked this up? I also had a CBC done long with a HIV and Hep Test and my white blood cell count was elevated and neutrophils a t 10 weeks. Does this sound like HIV infection or something else. I do not know what to think anymore. Have you ever seen a 10 week negative blood test change to positive later?

  26. Hey Doc – I have a question. I slept with a guy who turned out to be HIV positive. He told me a week after the fact which was really messed up. I used a condom but the condom broke. However, he did not release inside of me. Then, he told me he was currently undetectable. I honestly don’t trust him being that he didn’t tell me about his status to begin with. After the fact, he let me know that he’s been positive for over 10 years. I got tested at a local clinic 15 days, 30 days, and 42 days post exposure using the 4th generation combo antigen/antibody test. It was non- reactive. My question is at 42 days (6 weeks) – how conclusive is that test? What are the chances of acquiring it for a single exposure? Off the top of your head – how many people get 3 non-reactive test results within’ this window period and ultimately end up getting a positive after 12 weeks?

    • Yes that is really messed up. Luckily you did not catch HIV. Your tests are already conclusive.

  27. Hey Doctor Tan its me Heather again, so after two negative oraquicks at week 8 and 9 I decided to play it safe and got a HIV blood test sent to the lab on Friday December 19th and I recieved my results today which were non reactive for HIV 1/2 after 10 weeks exposure. My exposure was October 10th. Could I trust my results? What are the chances it could be a false negative. How sensitive are blood tests done in a lab?

    • The question to ask is actually why do you NOT trust the results? Any good reason? I don’t see a reason.

      • After 6 weeks exposure I am still having symptoms. fatigue, bad cough, dry skin, dry mouth muscle aches etc. Doctor I would like to know if i Was to have started seroconversion illness at 6 weeks would my HIV blood test from the lab t 10 weeks post exposure have picked this up? I also had a CBC done long with a HIV and Hep Test and my white blood cell count was elevated and neutrophils a t 10 weeks. Does this sound like HIV infection or something else. I do not know what to think anymore. Have you ever seen a 10 week negative blood test change to positive later?

        • Whether or not you had serconversion symptoms the HIV test at week 10 is already very accurate. I do not see why you need to be worried. The CBC cannot be used to tell if a person is infected with HIV or not.

  28. Anil Shrey

    dear Dr. Tan,
    I had protected oral/vaginal sex with a CSW in Geylang legal house. After week 5-6 i got my saliva gland swollen and few rash on chest, neck and trunk which comes and go every day for 4 weeks. I was taking antibiotics during this period and after completing its course rash went away. But my saliva gland is still swollen (specially after eating) with pain in back neck, sometimes in jaw and ear . Some pain in abdomen like twisted muscle but no diarrhoea. I am under high stress and anxiety since that exposure. And its been 6 weeks since the onset of symptoms although never had fever/ fatigue. I got tested after week 8 and week 10 with 4th generation(SD BIOLINE) finger prick rapid combo test with negative result.
    Is it conclusive?

  29. Dr Tan,

    The test I did after a month from exposure was CMIA Fourth Generation Method. It was non reactive. Is it conclusive after one month period?

  30. Hi Dr. Tan,

    I’ll keep my summary quick. 13 weeks ago I had an encounter with a woman of unknown status. She performed oral sex on me. I fingered her and occasionally put my fingers in her mouth during this encounter (thus potentially transferring vaginal fluid to her mouth), after which my penis was again reinserted into her mouth.

    I started to develop some symptoms potentially consistent with ARS beginning about 2 days after this encounter, some of which have lasted to this day.

    I tested at 4 and 4.5 weeks with a Clearview Complete HIV 1/2 rapid test. I tested at 5 weeks with an Abbott Architect HIV AG/AB COMBO test. I tested again at 12 weeks with a Clearview Complete HIV 1/2 rapid test, and at 13 weeks with an Oraquick in-home oral swab. All tests have been negative.

    Despite my some symptoms persisting, are these tests conclusive?

    Thanks,

    Jason

  31. Hi Doc thank you for taking the time out to read this. October 10th I had unprotected sex with a friend he says hes been tested but you never know anymore. Approximately 6 weeks after exposure i started feeling run down for days where i just wanted to sleep, i developed very dry itchy skin, bad headaches for a few days, some mild diarrhea and very thirsty dry mouth and i was naseuous. I got very paranoid so I took an oraquick advances hiv test using oral specimens at 8 and 9 weeks exposures and both came out negative. I am 10 weeks in and i still feel very tired and have dry skin issues going on. I was wondering how likely is an 8 and 9 weeks result to change? Have you ever seen it happen before at 12 or 13 weeks. I am really scared I might of went through a seroconversion if some sort at 5 to 6 weeks.

    • Yup. You never know anymore. However, your symptoms only came on at 6 weeks. A tad too late for HIV ARS. Also, the HIV Oraquick test at 8 to 9 weeks is already extremely indicative. So all in all, I think there must be some other explanation for your symptoms other than HIV.

  32. Jenna Loster

    Hi Dr Tan, between 2008 and 2011 I was very promiscuous. After all those encounters a year later i took an oraquick test in 2022 and it was negative. Between 2012 and upto now I had three new partners. I randomly developed Gingivitis in what i believe is to be trench mouth in June. I wasnt aware I had dental issues till June and i got diagnosed with gingivitis. Around november i felt awful extremely fatigued and dry eyes mouth and diarrhea for a few days along with headaches i felt like this for a few weeks. I still have earaches clogged ears and little to no sense of smell. My last exposure was the end of July and I took two oraquick tests using saliva. I took one December 8th and Dec 15th they both came out negative. Could I trust this test? or could the test from 2 years ago could be wrong and i could have late stage hiv so i could not be producing antibodies anymore?

    • I assume you mean you took the OraQuick test in 2012. July to Dec is 5 months. Really the OraQuick test is as good as conclusive. If you want to get into the nitty gritty, the OraQuick test has been shown to have a negative predictive value as low as 98% in low prevalence settings. In all practical sense this should make no difference to you and I am sure you do not have HIV.

      • Hi Dr. Tan,

        I am 31male. I had one exposure with an unknown girl. I did test at 1month, it was negative. I They told me to come at 3months it also came negative. I was anxious and went for testing at total 6months and came negative. But i am still in worry. The test might have been rapid test, or looking for CD counts. Is my results conclusive.

        Please help.

        • My question to you is why do you think your results are not conclusive? Any good reason?

  33. Dear Dr Tan,

    I have done an HIV Antibody screening test under Pantai Premier Pathology 30 DAYS after exposure to an unprotected sex, which I dont know if she was hiv positive or not. It came out as non reactive. I dont know what testing method did they use. But I think it was EIA test. So my question is,

    1. Is the test result conclusive and reliable?
    2. What is the window period for the EIA test?
    3. Do I need to retest again after sometimes?

    Your reply is much apprciated Dr Tan.

    Best Regards.

    • 1. It depends on what method they used. If it is just an EIA then it is not conclusive. 2. 3 months. 3. Yes 3 months.

      • Dr Tan,

        I just got to know that they used the CMIA method, Fourth Generation. So in the case of this method, is it conclusive after a month (4 weeks)?

  34. Dear Dr Tan…

    This was our previous conversation…..

    chuks
    November 10, 2014

    I met a girl, a student and we started dating, we had sex, several times for several weeks and i performed oral sex on her too…On all but one occasion occasions i used a condom and used it well…on this single occasion the condom broke and i pulled out immediately cos i was on top, then replaced it and continued…on another occasion, she had traveled for two weeks and i missed her, so i masturbated and had some abrasion on around the base of my penis…then the next day she came back and we had protected sex…Tragedy struck when she got ill and i helped her get to the hospital, during her treatment, a test was performed on her and was found HIV positive..when she got well i asked her why she didnt tell me of her condition, she only said she would have but i was always using protection…we broke up hence forth…its been two years since then but am still scared she might have infected me…i havnt had any test yet..what are my odds…
    reply

    drtan
    November 12, 2014

    Wow. I am so sorry to hear that. The good thing is your chances of getting HIV from this is still rather low. I would ballpark your risk at about 1 in 1000 at worst. You really should get tested. Be brave, it is very likely that you will be OK.

    NOW MY POST

    I am thrilled and couldnt wait to share with you that i finally took the Almighty All Fearing HIV Test…It was the Antibody Test After over two Years of exposure…it came Negetive…Hope is conclusive…I also had to post it here so that others that may be facing similar situation as mine may know…As for the oral Thrush, i think its GONE or going, cos it dosnt burn like before, just litle tingles or maybe its just in my head…ALthough sometime ago i examined my tongue after scraping and brushing, i noticed some red tiny pin-point dots or rather bumps like about five of them around the center of my tongue, which when i scratched them hard with my nail, they bled. and was litle painful for a day…also noticed that my palate and mouth roof was a little yellowish instead of pink, the gum of one of my upper canine seem to be eroded exposing a little more tooth, i suspect gingivitis.…i still feel ok though apart from these and a few joint pains which i attribute to a lack of exercise but plan to go to the hospital on my next leave from work…hope is not something to be worried about. thanks again…

    • Thank you for sharing. Is there something you want to ask me? I don’t see a question in there.

  35. Dr. Tan, I had recent unprotected sex with an HIV+ woman. On one occasion there was menstrual blood on my penis. I took the finger prick test 4 weeks after exposure. It came back negative. What are the chances that the test is a false – negative ?

    • It depends on which finger prick test you took. If it was the Combo test you can relax. If it was the antibody test you can also relax but you should get it done again at 3 months post exposure.

  36. Hello dr tan you are doing a wonderful job….I had unprotected vaginal exposure with known hiv positive prostitute in june..I am uncircumcised and during sex my penile foreskin started bleeding..one week after my exposure I got viral pharyngitis and fever both took 1week to subside..after 2 weeks I suddenly started getting joint and muscle pains..it started from my knees and now my whole body is affected..soles of my foot on both sides have become extreme red and are paining like hell..my both knees also are very painful..its been 5 months my joint and muscle pain aren’t going..they are becoming worse day by day..I haven’t slept from last 5 months because of severe pain..my esr and crp levels were highly elevated at 40 and 48..I met rheumatologist he told me I have got some kind of rheumatic disease..cause is unexplained..can be viral infection..I have taken almost all nsaids to injections to relieve my pain but its not going..I have taken 4th generation tests at week 6,9,12,15,and last 20 weeks after exposure it came out negative..in between I took hiv proviral dna test at 6 weeks and hiv quantitative rna pcr by cobas taqman at 3 months which detects less then 48 copies.this also came negative..I want honest advice from you is my testing upto 5 months enough or I have to take more testing following my rheumatic disease?I have seen in american college of rheumatology that most people with hiv infection have rheumatic diseases and appear as primary manifestation :(..m in horrible pain..I don’t wanna live in this pain :'(..m just 27 and only son of my parents..last year I had life threatening condition severe pancreatitis liver inflamed bile duct blocked..was hospitalised for 45 days..seeing my lifethreatening conditions in previous months and looking at my current rheumatic disease is my 5 month 4th gen test is conclusive?

    • Your tests are conclusive and you do not have HIV. You better get that Rheumatic problem sorted out man. These things can become very chronic and very crippling.

      • Thank you so much dr tan :)..god bless you..love you for your wonderful work..you are a great human being :)keep up with your wonderful work….I trust on u and will keep hiv out of my mind..just one more question I wanted to ask..as I m uncircumcised and blood exposure was there is there any chance I might be coinfected by hep c along with hiv?I have tested for hepatitis c also at 3 months and 5 months..as my rheumatic disease is worsening and related with both hiv and hcv..still my 5 months test for both are conclusive?thank u dr tan

        • Dr tan kindly reply to my last question….

          • Your Hep C test is conclusive. Relax. Anyway, if you are worried about Hep C extending the HIV window period, that does not seem to be an issue anymore.

      • Thank you for the answers dr tan god bless you:)..I am just worried about my rheumatic disease which is worsening day by day….I fear I won’t be that rare person who doesn’t turn out positive till a year or 2 because of my life threatening serious illness last year when I was admitted for 45 days.. :(..I will take your words and ll try to forget about hiv and hcv :)

      • Dr tan sorry to disturb u again….I went to 1 neurologist who told me that your symptoms fit well with cidp…chronic inflammatory demyeliniting polyneuropathy….I have seen in all medical journals and studies that cidp is the manifestation of hiv in most of the patients….:(everywhere cidp is linked with hiv..do u think my 5 month hiv testing is enough to rule out hiv or am the rare person who isn’t producing antibodies nor antigens and viral rna :(….

  37. Dear Dr. Tan…I I posted again on the outcome of the test i had the other day. the post is upto a week and you havnt replied yet…although you did reply others after it. please find time to reply, am waiting for your response. sorry about its lengthiness

    • Sorry. Can’t find it anymore. Too many comments. Can you repost your question? Thanks.

  38. Hi, i had unprotected sex in thailand with 3 girls. I also had 2 condoms broken by that time. This happend in the month september. I got tested at 22 september ab/ag because i had 2 days flu and had to go to tiolet. I could barely move. At 7 and 24 october i did an ab/ag test again and at 12 november again(45 days before my last risk). Are these results conclusive? Because i had a big risk and went ill in that period.

    Thank you doctor

  39. I had oral sex wit a lady both insertion nd receptive.i had bruise on my pennis bloodless cos it was bin treated den nd almost closed totally.she dint av any cut or sore in her mouth only pure saliva was on er mouth.after 5 weeks I went for hiv 1 nd 2, p24 combo test. (G.s bio-rad combo). Nd I took her for hiv 1 nd 2 antibody test (aleere determine) we r both negative. But am scared cos of d bloodless bruise on my pennis.Wats d possibility of hiv infection?

    • It does not matter. What matters is that your HIV test is already conclusive. So you do not have HIV.

  40. Dear Dr Tan…

    This was our previous conversation…..

    chuks
    November 10, 2014

    I met a girl, a student and we started dating, we had sex, several times for several weeks and i performed oral sex on her too…On all but one occasion occasions i used a condom and used it well…on this single occasion the condom broke and i pulled out immediately cos i was on top, then replaced it and continued…on another occasion, she had traveled for two weeks and i missed her, so i masturbated and had some abrasion on around the base of my penis…then the next day she came back and we had protected sex…Tragedy struck when she got ill and i helped her get to the hospital, during her treatment, a test was performed on her and was found HIV positive..when she got well i asked her why she didnt tell me of her condition, she only said she would have but i was always using protection…we broke up hence forth…its been two years since then but am still scared she might have infected me…i havnt had any test yet..what are my odds…
    reply

    drtan
    November 12, 2014

    Wow. I am so sorry to hear that. The good thing is your chances of getting HIV from this is still rather low. I would ballpark your risk at about 1 in 1000 at worst. You really should get tested. Be brave, it is very likely that you will be OK.

    I am thrilled and couldnt wait to share with you that i finally took the Almighty All Fearing HIV Test…It was the Antibody Test After over two Years of exposure…it came Negetive…Hope is conclusive…I also had to post it here so that others that may be facing similar situation as mine may know…As for the oral Thrush, i think its GONE or going, cos it dosnt burn like before, just litle tingles or maybe its just in my head…ALthough few days ago i examined my tongue after scraping and brushing, i noticed some red tiny pin-point dots or rather bumps like about five of them around the center of my tongue, which when i scratched them hard with my nail, they bled. and was litle painful for a day…also noticed that my palate and mouth roof was a little yellowish instead of pink…i still feel ok though but plan to go to the hospital on my next leave from work…hope is not something to be worried about. thanks again…

  41. Aleere determine combo test conclusive at 94days? I has exposure wit a gal wit an unknown status.94days ago. I had bloodless cut on ma pennis. Protected tho but d condom busted and I withdrew immediately. After 94days I did aleere determine combo test/fourth generation. Is it conclusive?

  42. I slept with HIV pos woman vaginal on 1 june, I did a SD Bioline at 28 June came Neg. I did SD Bioline combo at 3 october came Neg again, is this conclussive? Am frastrated I have dizzyness, feel light, weak, chest turns yelloy, burning sensations on my arms, memory loss, aches, joint pain, runny nose, flaky skin, gum bleeds thou it from my child hood, green viens on my arms, but no headache. But it all went away after 5 months

    • In my opinion your tests are conclusive. There must be some other explanation for your symptoms.

  43. Dear doc…thanks for the good work you do here, you dont know how much sickness you have cured by just answering these questions..Please gimme a reply soon…I had an exposure to a Hiv positive lady two years back unknowingly, we had sex and had orals sex on several occasions but we used protection…on one of the occasions the condom broke but i withdrew immediately, i didnt get tested cos i was scared, but when i asked around, it was like my chances are very low…now i recently developed what i will call oral thrush, although i try to backdate the time i started having the symptoms to when i had oral sex with a lady whom i beleive had verginal yeast which she may not know cos she complained of painful sex but has no discharge…i started tasting salty and sugary taste in my mouth alternating from time to time…then a burning mouth sensation, i am still scared to go to hospital for the fear of the hiv exposure… my tongue looked like it had white covering over it although a dentist said it looked normal, but i am still having the burning mouth sensation, i convinced myself it was thrush and started treating it with fluconazole 100mg 2 times daily, it almost cleared but at the end of 15days treatment, the burning came back after a week, i got a Nystatin Suspension annd took 4 drops four times daily,i have finished the second bottle of Nystatin, and the burning sensations feels like its cumming back again two days after nystatin, i just started using warm salt water solution to rinse my mouth every morning and evening, yet no much improvement, i am scared this is one of the signs of Hiv manifestation, i have no other symptoms, no fever, sour throat, ulcers or swolen lymphnodes, am just fine just that sometimes i feel dizzy and weak which i atribute to the drugs i was taking….please i need your advice..IS THIS A SURE HIV MANIFESTATION…I am trying to make up my mind to get tested but am scared of disapointing my fiancee whom am getting married to by end of this year,,she loves and believes in me so much and i can afford to disapoint her..Not in this way…HELP!!!!

    • There is no such thing as a “sure HIV manifestation”. Oral thrush can be caused by a HIV infection. Oral thrush can also be caused by many other diseases. There is no point pondering. You must test. I think by not testing you are being even more unfair to your fiancee.

  44. Hi dr. Had protected sex (not sure about the condom being broken) and having swollen lymph nodes in neck and groin. 5 week EIA test was negative. 10 week oraquick oral swab test also negative. Is this accurate and conclusive?

    • Very accurate but only considered officially conclusive at 3 months post exposure.

  45. I had exposure 3 months ago I did rapid finger pick test at 8 weeks and 12 both non reactive double eia confirmatory test at 13 weeks it also came negative is it conclusive?

  46. doc ive been throug oral sex in september 22,2014 and the i get tested on nov. 12,2014 they used SD bioline hiv ag/ad combo the result is nonreactive. but im still nervous does my result accurate? and does the time require is relevent when i get tested?

    • The combo test is conclusive after 28 days. I see no reason for you to doubt the test.

      • Doc, i had an hiv duo combo in a lab at 7 weeks it came out negative after having sex with a condom, expire one) but did not break.. can i trust the results.

        i am confuse because it says that p24 drop down after a month, please help me out.

        • Yes the P24 can be down but then the antibody will already be detectable. In my opinion it is conclusive.

  47. I had massage in thia. She kiss me and give me hand job . Is it possible to be infected ? I am very worry can’t eat can’t sleep

  48. Hey Mr tan I had unprotected sex in March 3 2014 I went to my doctor September 5 2014 he did a finger prick test that take about 10 to 20 to get back your result it was negative How accurate is that test sir plz help.

    • I do not know what test your doctor did. But generally a HIV test at 6 months post exposure is accurate.

      • Hi Dr Tan

        I want to ask you Are Rapid Sd Bioline combo Test as accurate as the elisa combo test (The Lab Test).Thank You

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. HIV Test Kit   | HIV - […] HIV – Understanding the Window Period […]
  2. Rapid Anonymous HIV Combo Test at our clinic | HIV - […] HIV – Understanding the Window Period […]
  3. Anonymous HIV Testing at Dr Tan Clinic Singapore | GP Services - […] HIV – Understanding the Window Period […]
  4. HIV P24 Ag/Ab Test, Duo Test, Combo Test at our Clinic | HIV - […] HIV – Understanding the Window Period […]
  5. Most Popular HIV Articles | HIV - […] HIV – Understanding the Window Period […]
  6. Getting HIV from Oral Sex | HIV - […] HIV – Understanding the Window Period […]
  7. Anonymous HIV testing and Counselling | HIV - […] HIV – Understanding the Window Period […]
  8. HIV Testing – FAQ | HIV - […] HIV – Understanding the Window Period […]
  9. HIV CMIA Test Accuracy | HIV - […] Antibodies are produced by the patient’s immune system in response to the HIV infection. It might take some time …

Leave a Comment