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.

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HIV Testing – FAQ


When should I test for HIV?
Should I also test for other STDs?
What are the symptoms of HIV?


What is HIV PCR?
What is it used for?
When can I take the PCR test?
How do I take the PCR test?
What is the accuracy of the HIV PCR test?
What is the difference between HIV 1 and 2?
Can I also test for other STDs at the same time?


When should I test for HIV?

HIV screening is all about timing. The right test at the right time means accuracy.

If your exposure was less than 3days ago, see Our Doctors at Our Clinics immediately and discuss if you need PEP.

HIV Prevention within 72 hours of exposure (PEP) – Click Here

We are Open on Saturdays and Sundays.

Click Here for Contact Details, Address and Opening Times.

If your exposure was 10 to 12 days ago, you should do the HIV RNA PCR.

Results may take 1 to 2 weeks. The lab can expedite the results within a week for a surcharge of $100.

If your exposure was 28 days ago, you should do the HIV P24 Ag/Ab Combo test.

This test is done in the clinic and results take 20 minutes.

If your exposure was 3 months or more ago, you should do the HIV Antibody Rapid Test.

This test can be done with either blood or saliva.

This test is done in the clinic and takes 20 minutes.

Early, Fast and Accurate Anonymous HIV test – Click Here
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

Also, test for HIV if you develop symptoms of Fever, Muscle Aches, Rashes, Sore Throat and Enlarged Lymph Nodes. Please remember that these symptoms are not present in everyone with HIV so please go for screening if you think you are at risk even though you do not have any symptoms.

Click here to learn More about HIV Symptoms.

Should I also test for other STDs?

If you have been exposed to HIV then it is very likely that you have been exposed to other STDs. Because of this, we highly recommend that you also screen for other STDs such as Syphilis, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Hepatitis, Herpes and Warts.

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

Click here for packages and prices.

What are the symptoms of HIV?

The earliest symptoms of HIV appear at about 3 weeks after exposure. The most common symptoms are Fever, Muscle Aches, Rashes, Sore Throat and Enlarged Lymph Nodes. These symptoms usually disappear after 2 weeks.

Please remember that these symptoms are not present in everyone with HIV so please go for screening if you think you are at risk even though you do not have any symptoms.

HIV then remains silent for many years until it causes AIDS.

Click here to learn More about HIV Symptoms.

What is PEP?

PEP stands for Post Exposure Prophylaxis.

It is a regimen of medications that can prevent the onset of HIV in people who have had very high-risk exposure to HIV. It MUST be started within 72 hours of exposure.

Have you been exposed to HIV infected fluids?

Have you had a high risk sexual contact with a high risk partner?

Did your condom break?

If any of these occurred in the last 72 hours, do not hesitate. See Our Doctors at Our Clinics now.

HIV Prevention within 72 hours of exposure (PEP) – Click Here

We are Open on Saturdays and Sundays.

Click here to learn more about PEP including prices.

What if the Rapid Test is positive for HIV?

We will draw a blood sample and send it to the laboratory for a confirmatory test called a Western Blot. This test will STILL BE ANONYMOUS.

The Western Blot test will take 2 to 3 weeks for results.

What if the Western Blot test is positive for HIV?

This confirms a HIV infection.

Our doctor will counsel you on the various treatment options available.

Everything up to this point is STILL ANONYMOUS. You are NOT REQUIRED to disclose any personal information.

What if I choose to disclose my personal information?

You may choose to disclose you personal data purely on a VOLUNTARY BASIS or if you choose to attain treatment at the Singapore Communicable Diseases Centre.

If you do so, these are the notification requirements in accordance with the Infectious Diseases Act of Singapore:
• HIV positive people are required by law to disclose their HIV status to their sexual partners before engaging in sexual intercourse.
• HIV positive people are recommended to disclose their HIV status to medical and dental personnel performing invasive procedures on them.
• The HIV positive person is encouraged to get his/her sexual partners and others who might be exposed (such as children of HIV positive mothers) to test.
• The person will also be referred to the Communicable Disease Centre (CDC) of Tan Tock Seng, which is the national referral center for HIV/AIDS for further management.
• Apart from the above situations, no one (including employers and other family members) will be notified, as the Infectious Disease Act protects the identity of HIV infected people and prohibits the unwarranted disclosure of information, which can identify someone as being HIV positive.

What if I find out I’m HIV positive?

Do not panic.

HIV is not a death sentence. You still can lead a very productive and normal life while living with HIV.

Modern medicines are effective in controlling the disease. HIV can be managed as a chronic disease.

You will need to see a doctor and have some tests done. If your immune system is still healthy you do not even need to start taking any medicines.

If you choose to see a doctor in Singapore to get treated for HIV, you will be required to disclose your personal information.

Alternatively, we can help you make arrangements with our various international partner hospitals for you to seek treatment outside of Singapore. Please speak to us to find out more.

Too Worried to Wait?

The FASTEST way to find out if you have been infected with HIV or not to do the HIV PCR Test 12 days after the potential exposure.

The next earliest accurate test is the HIV Combo test at 28 days post exposure. Click here to learn more.

All other HIV tests are subject to a 3 months window period. In other words, you have to wait for 3 months before knowing for sure if you have been infected with HIV or not. In this time, you can potentially spread it to your sexual partners without even realizing it.

KNOW EARLY, KNOW FOR SURE. Visit Our Clinics now for an accurate HIV test.
Early, Fast and Accurate Anonymous HIV test – Click Here


What is HIV PCR?

HIV PCR stands for Human Immuno-deficiency Virus Polymerase Chain Reaction.

What is it used for?

It is a blood test that is used to determine the amount of HIV virus in a person’s blood.

The PCR test is very useful to find a very recent infection 10 to 12 days post exposure, determine if an HIV infection is present when antibody test results were uncertain, and screen blood or organs for HIV before donation.

When can I take the PCR test?

The PCR test can be taken as early as 10 to 12 days after exposure to HIV.

If it is still within 72 hours since your exposure to HIV please find out more about PEP.

How do I take the PCR test?

Come to Our Clinics anytime during our opening hours. We are Open on Saturdays and Sundays.

You do not need to fast for this test.

The results will be available in about 1 to 2 weeks. The lab can expedite the results to within a week for a surcharge of $100.

Click Here for Contact Details, Address and Opening Times.

What is the accuracy of the HIV PCR test?

It is 100% accurate if done 10 days after exposure.

False positive results are more common than false negatives due to the PCR test’s sensitivity, so all positive results must be double checked using a standard antibody test.

Also, the HIV PCR test can only test for HIV 1.

What is the difference between HIV 1 and 2?

At the Autumn conference of the British HIV Association in November 2007, Dr Kamal Mansinho from the Egas Moniz Hospital, Lisbon, Portugal gave an overview of HIV-2 and how it differed from HIV-1.

His main points were that HIV-2 is a less virulent, less aggressive and less harmful virus than HIV-1, with a five to nine fold lower probability of its sexual transmission

HIV 2 is almost exclusively found in West Africa and a person is at risk only if he or she has a high-risk exposure to a West African who is known to be HIV positive.

Can I also test for other STDs at the same time?

Yes. In fact, we encourage testing for other STDs during the same visit as your PCR test.

It will give you complete peace of mind once all the STDs have been tested for and if necessary, treated.

Also, it will save you from coming back on a separate occasion for STD screening and suffer another needle poke.

Click here for packages and prices.

Do not hesitate. Come to Our Clinic now for a HIV test. All results are fully anonymous and confidential.
Full Comprehensive STD/STI screening – Click Here
Do not worry in vain. Our doctor are certified and specially trained to deal with HIV and all STDs. Visit Our Clinics Now.

Need more advice?

Come down to Our Clinics for a discussion with Our Doctors, or call our clinics for more information:

Email: hello@dtapclinic.com.sg


  1. Aqmal Ibrahim

    Doctor, i was tested at 13 weeks & 26 weeks with AB&AG.

    All negative, do i still require testing?

    I saw online mentioned autoimmune system or elite fighter unable to develop or detect antibody. Am afraid i’m one of it.

    Can advice?

  2. Dear doctor

    I had asked in this forum for advise before.

    I was exposed on 7th Nov @ 12am. My first course of pep was around 2.30am. I was told to take the pep Everyday after breakfast. As such, my second dose happened on 7th nov @11am.

    I’m two weeks into my pep and I just realised that I was only given 27 days of medication. It all happened in Bangkok and I’m back to Singapore.

    Kindly advise me do I have to visit your clinic for that one more day of medication, or there’s no necessity to do that.

    Kindly also advise me if not, can I see Yiu in your clinic on day 28, which is a day after I finished my 27 days of medication, please.

    Thank you.

    • An effective PEP course is supposed to be 28 days. I think you just took an extra dose the first day. Overall I doubt it will make much of a difference, but if you are concerned you may always come in for a consult and evaluation.

      • Doctor, when do you recommend that I visit your clinic?

        Before I finished my last dose or a day after ?

  3. Doctor,

    I had tested for HIV after 3 months post exposure and came back negative. But i was positive for HSV1.

    However, my salivary gland was inflamed & swollen + skin rash at bottom body (thigh & foot) at 5 months exposure.

    Does it could be HIV symptoms and my antibody was not detected?

    really need your comments.

    • No, it is not HIV because your test was negative and the test is conclusive. HSV-1 is extremely common.

      • Thanks, doctor.

        But does HSV1 cause ulcer at salivary gland? How can i treat it at home?

        • Doctor, i was tested in Malaysia. Should i go retest again?

          I have no exposure since the day i go for tested.

  4. Dear Doctor,
    I really would appreciate your valuable opinion and experience about my test results.
    I had risky sex on AUGUST 9th with a female. I learned that she was HIV positive A WEEK LATER. (I had used condom. The vaginal relation was only about 20 seconds, after I pulled out I could see the condom still on my penis, and semen in the condom. It seemed proper. I am circumsized.)
    1. After I learned she was HIV positive. I got HIV tested (Elisa I guess) on AUGUST 16th, it was negative.
    2. On AUGUST 18th (9 days after sex), I got viral test done. The results came out on AUGUST 23th. It read ““below 20 copies/ml” and log value “below 1.30”. It reads as “HIV RNA DETECTED (!), less than 20 HIV/RNA copies/ml)”
    (The test also has an “undetectable” reporting, however, the next option is below 20 copies.)
    3. On AUGUST 19TH and AUGUST 20TH, I started taking PEP which doctor prescribed – a bit late isn’t it?. (Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate 300mg, Lamivudine USP 600mg, Efavirenz USP 200mg). ARVs made me dizzy, so I stoppped on AUGUST 21ST and AUGUST 22ND. After the viral load result, I started ARVs again. One pill everyday regularly.
    4. On AUGUST 29th, I gave blood sample for PCR-HIV QUALITATIVE: (Performed using the Roche COBAS Ampliprep/COBAS Taqman HIV-1 Qualitative Version 2.0 assay.) It turned out negative. (By then I have been using ARVs for 7 days everyday once. So ARVs could influence the results right?)
    5. On SEPTEMBER 6th (28 days after risky sex), I did additional Elisa test screening. (By then I have been using ARVs still everyday one pill) It is negative.
    6. On SEPTEMBER 22nd (44 days after risky sex, and 2-3 days after last PEP dose), I did fingerprick test. It turned out negative.
    I pray that the attached viral load test is “false positive”.
    What is the likelihood of having less than 20 copies after 8-9 days?
    In my country, test facilities are not diverse. There is no 4th generation tests as far as I know.
    Thanks so much!

    • I am very sorry to hear of your experience. My opinions as follows:
      1. Your HIV RNA test is likely false positive. A value of < 5000 copies per ml at 9 days post exposure is usually a false positive. 2. I agree with you that your PEP was started too late and likely not effective. 3. You will need to test up to the window period as recommended by your local HIV testing guidelines. It may be 3 or 6 months depending on the testing technology available.

      • Mustapha

        Dear Doctor,
        Thank you soo much for your response!
        Indeed I do pray that my viral load was false positive.
        Today I had another fingerprick test. Based on the guideline of the fingerprick test, I read the results after 10-15 minutes. It was again “negative” (i.e. 54 days after risky sex and 13 days after my last PEP dose).
        I will have Elisa test at 8 weeks post-exposure, and at 3 months post exposure.
        Should I take the date of “exposure” or date of my “last dose PEP” as the reference date for testing?
        Thanks soo much!
        Best regards

      • Mustapha

        Dear Doctor! I am really confused now, pls help…

        On OCTOBER 20th (72 days after risky sex, and 30 days after last PEP dose), I did ELISA test/4th generation at a laboratory. It turned out negative.

        On OCTOBER 26th, (78 days after risky sex, and 36 days after last PEP dose, I did fingerprick test. It turned out negative.

        Should I take the date of “exposure” or the date of my last dose PEP as the reference date for testing???


  5. Doctor,

    Would you comments below here?

    I tested 3 months after exposure for HIV AB AG and cames back negative.

    But i did not test for others of Hep A B C.. as i see this will cause late detection of the HIV antibody or antigen..

    Is it true? Do i need to retest at 6 months or one year?

    My exposure was protected and only perform breast sucking.

  6. Dcotor,

    10days, 28days, 35days, 49days, 63days and 91days tested ab & ag ( Certified lab, Alere test kit & private hospital ) Cames back negative.

    Tested in Malaysia. Does this means conclusive? As my doc mentioned to test again at 6 months. Does the antibody shows up that late??

  7. Hi Dr

    Recently I had an encounter of unprotected insertive msm sex. I was insertive partner. Uncircumcised. I went on PEP 12 hours later. It’s been 2 weeks, my baseline hiv was negative and said 0.227 today at day 14 I tested again and it was negative 0.66 why increased? Is this worry? I am scared. Many symtomns hiv my dr said no concern but he is not hiv dr. He also say test 28 days after exposure even on PeP ok.

    • The test is still negative so there is no worry. The test post-PEP 28 days post-exposure is still practically conclusive, although we would still recommend one last check 3 months post-exposure.

  8. Au8mata

    Hi doctor, went for massage with happy ending. Not sure whether is a ladyboy. No sex, no oral but only handjob. Will I get any HIV,STD?Do I need to go for any test?

    • No, you will not get HIV from this kind of encounter. However, there are some infections which can be transmitted with skin-to-skin contact or contact with an infected area, including genital warts/HPV and genital herpes. These are still very unlikely from just a handjob.

      • If take the STD comprehensive testing in your clinic, how long do I need to wait for the result?

  9. Aisha

    Dear Dr
    I would like to know that how long does the HIV virus stay in human body before it starts to show positive results?

    • The earliest you can pick up HIV on testing is with RNA PCR at 10-14 days. After that, you can start picking it up with p24 antigen testing, and by 4 weeks you can start picking up HIV antibody.

  10. Anlumry

    I did p24 at and abs hiv combo.
    At 11 days : negative
    PCR and combo at 16 days: negative.negative
    Combo 31 days : negative.
    Combo 51 days: negative.
    PCR and combo 67 days: negative. Negative

    I’m extremely worried, should I get retested 3 months after the sexual intercourse?

  11. Sir 3 dec 2016 i have 4 minuts unprotected vaginal sex .after 4 weeks i have rash on my neck . Then 8 janyaru 2017.(after 5 weeks from my risk) i done Hiv Test Ag / ab CMIA Non Reavtiv..then again 25 January ( 7 week and 5 day from my risk) i test hiv ag/ab combo and Result Non Reactiv…this test is enough or i need retest again

  12. Hello sir..i have 4 minuts unprotected vaginal sex on 3 dec 2016..after 27 days i have rash in neck and headach.iso worry so 8 January (after 35 days)i go for test and after 2 days result is HIV 1/2 ab/ag screening CMIA Non Reactive..is this test is conclusive.

    • Your test result is reassuring. If you are still concerned, you can repeat a HIV test 3 months post exposure.

      • That mean my 5 weeks Hiv Ag/ab CMIA test is not conclusive..as this test only conclusive at 28 days or also conclusive 35 days? I very stress and worry.

      • Sir i again test after 7 weeks and 5 days after my risk..Hiv ag/ab Combo Non Reactive.. Note: (first combo test after 5 weeks and second combo test after 7 weeks and 5 days)…as this 2 Non Reactiv test enough or i retest again

  13. I test hiv 13 days
    Hiv 1 and 2 spot test

    Elfa 4rt generation in 19 days

    Alisa test in 25 days
    All are came negative sir is it conclusive result for me..
    How many chancec is there turn to positive..?

    • No it is not. Generally speaking HIV 4th Gen tests are accurate from 28 days. Please see your doctor for formal HIV testing and advice on testing window periods.

  14. Hi doctor,

    I had a paid service with a girl a day ago. She gave me an unprotected oral sex for about 4-5min. we had protected intercourse after that. During intercourse, I smell fishy odor particularly. After the session, I started to find it odd about the smell. I’m kind of worried. Not sure should I go for PEP treatment? What should I do as it is not yet 14days or 28days. Pls advise.

    • First of all I would like to point out that we cannot give medical advice over the internet. Whether or not you require PEP is a question that can only be answered after a formal medical consultation. As general advice, I would say you need to screen for HIV and all other STDs.

  15. Hi Doc! Doc my last exposure is May 13,2016 then I get tested September 23,2016 with Negative/Non-Reactive result using home hiv1/2 test kit 3rd gen, immunoassay, ELISA type test from japan. is that conclusive and definite?

    But before that July 1st week I got sick and I was confined in hospital for 2 days with diagnosis of UTI, I have my labtest and test shows I have blood in my urine, and also my platelet count goes down 150 after a day becme 140 so I suspected that it’s not UTI but instead DENGUE cause I experience on and off fever, pain behind my eyes, joint and muscle pain, abdominal pain, black stool, pain in my left reb, and also experience easy bruising because everytime I scratch my skin specially in my legs it cause petechia I think due to low platelet count, and that time in our place Dengue is very common since its rainny season, my question Doc is
    1. I am right that its dengue not uti?
    2. It is possible to have blood in urine if u have dengue since I read about dengue that dengue cause bleeding?
    3. It is possible that this symptoms cause by hiv or not? even I get tested 4 and half months Negative/Non-Reactive Result?
    4. Is 4 and half months is conclusive and definite? Do I need to retest or have a confirmatory test?
    I am very grateful if u have time to answer my question Doc, Thank You so much Doc.

    • I cannot comment on the accuracy of home test kits.

      1. I do not know. The only way to know is for you to undergo a serology test for dengue.
      2. Yes it is definitely possible for Dengue to cause blood in the urine.
      3. I do not understand this question. You tested negative for HIV. So how can you have HIV symptoms? Unless you think the test was wrong? Even if it was, it is a bit late for ARS symptoms to appear.
      4. Again, I cannot comment on the accuracy of home test kits.

  16. Hi,

    I m 30 M, married

    Had my worst nightmares since a week. I visited a csw a week back. Initially she washed me thoroughly and herself as well. She started to massage me in the beginning. I did not have sexual intercourse with her. (Anal/Vaginal) . But the only mistake that I made is she gave me a blow job for 5 mins and later I kissed her (French for 2 mins). I sucked her boobs for 2-3 mins and the nipples were dry without any secretion. I also slightly rubbed her clit with my right middle finger (no cuts) bur did nor finger her. She then helped me to ejaculated by hand job and the cum fell on my stomach only. She then cleaned it with a dry cloth. There was no contact with vagina or anus. I am really worried if i can catch HIV after this episode? Really scared. Please help. I have contacted several doctors and counsellors who reckon this will not lead to HIV. Is this true?

  17. I had unprotected sex 11 weeks ago core hiv1/2 shows an negative at 11 weeks but I have mild pain sore throat. I had mild fever 3 weeks ago and painless mouth sore which disappeared within 2 day. I also have rash on my thigh and neck which does not spread. Pls am scared what else can L do

  18. Sir plz help

    On 7th July 2016 ,I do sex With a call girl I use two condoms no lip kiss no nip pal sucking after sex when I removing my condom there was a big cut (at lower side )on my finger that I was use to remove the condom.i donot know thet pre discharg fluid was touches my finger or not.but very next day allmost after 10 hours I feel sore Throet itching burning on body. After seven days I go to a dr. He ask me for some tests, I’d these tests on 10th day after explouer
    1.hiv 1-2 with p24 (combo)test negitave
    3,hapetitas b–negitave
    4.hsv 1-2. Hsv-2 was negitave but hsv-1 was high it was >30 and refer range was <0.09..
    My dr give me some madicin acivir 400 three times a day for 10 days and agumantin 625 for four days for sore thoret .i take these madicin as dr.says ,but I m not feeling good some itching and burning or sore Throet was Thera and I feel some joint pain and musels pain also then I go for test again on 28 the day hiv1-2combo test that was negitave..now it is 45th day I'm feeling feeling relief in itching burning or sore thoret but some join pain and musels pain is there. I want to know is this HIV symptoms. On 10 day or again 28 the day combo test says something or not plz help me what can I do now

    • The best thing to do is to go back to your doctor and ask him these questions. Let him assess you properly and give you appropriate advice.

  19. Hy,

    I’m very worried. I had 1 risk normal sex contact.
    Had an eclia roche 4th gen test at exactly 32 days after. It was negative. How conclusive is it?

    Thank you.

    • In my opinion the 4th Gen test is conclusive at 28 days and later.

      • What about at 7 weeks? Does it work only at 28 days or it can detect at 7 weeks. Thank you

        • I assume you are talking about the HIV combo test. This test is accurate FROM 28 days or later.

  20. Teh Yeu Jye

    Hi Docotor, I been exposed to HIV on the 13th June and than i went for an NAT test on the 17th of july.My HIV-1 RNA Qualitative NAT result is Non Reactive. Should I be still worried or I am totally HIV free?

    • The RNA HIV test is not recognized as a screening test in many countries. Although it is very accurate. You should check the accuracy of your test with your doctor.

      • Worried

        The Name of the blood test is Nucleic Acid Amplification Test. The Assay is HIV-1 RNA Qualitative NAT. The Lab said it can detect the virus at 7- 14 day post exposure.

        • If you are worried, I suggest you get an HIV antibody/antigen test done to be sure.

          • Anxious

            If The Combo test is negative.Can I conclude that I am HIV free?? Which has the highest accuracy detection of the virus?? NAT or Combo?

          • There is not “highest accuracy detection”. Different HIV tests should be done at different times under different scenarios. Please see a doctor familiar with HIV testing for more advice. You are very welcome to visit Dr Sii at his clinic at Scotts Medical Center.

  21. I had a fourth generation test done, negative to hiv1 and negative to hiv 2 antibody. Test came back reactive abnormal. Dr. Said it was hiv2 positive. Lab calls me to tell me to go and redraw blood for further testing. How did my dr give me my results. Low risk , married, currently 4months pregnant. Had testing done in October of 2015 negative for hiv 2 during routine prenatal appt, 5/016 bought life insurance also negative. Is this a false positive u think?

    • I do not quite understand your post. You said you had a 4th Gen test that was negative to both HIV 1 and 2 antibodies. But the doctor said you were HIV 2 positive? Why? This is all rather confusing. If what you have is truly a case of false positive HIV test, you need a series of other tests to confirm this. Please see your doctor for more advice.

  22. param

    Sir I had contact with a girl and the condom got bursted while having intercourse with her. After that I got symptoms of fatigue and balantics on my penis. I thought of going for a western blot test and I did that on 18th day after exposer . and the report came negative so please tell me do I HIV infection . and the report of the western blot test is accurate after 18 days.

    • drtan

      The Western Blot is not a screening test. It is not sensitive enough. Please see a doctor to get proper advice on which type of test to do to get an accurate result.

  23. James


    I am in desperate help here. I jus went for a massage at orchard tower with extra services. All we did was jus kissing and i jus put my fingers in her v.g..a. Also she just rubbed her v.g..a onto my pe… We DID NOT have any blowjob or sex at all. Tat night my middle finger was swollen and the next day i went to my neighbourhood doctor and he jus told me it was bacterial infection and gave me antibiotics and it healed. Wat are the chances of me getting other STDs and STI?? Please help, i am very worried as this is my first time.

    • drtan

      You can get Herpes on your finger. I do not know what you mean by she “rubbed her vagina on your penis”. If there was contact of vaginal fluid with your urethra, you can get Gonorrhea and Chlamydia. Skin to skin contact can also transmit Herpes and Syphilis.

  24. I worriedalot

    Dear dr.,

    10 weeks ago, I had a sex with, for me, unknown girl, and I started developing HIV symptoms within few hours. Everyone is saying these symptoms cannot show – it’s too early, but I don’t know what to think.

    I had night sweats, fatigue within 2-3 hours, and the next day – tongue started being white, fatigue, painful urination and even open sore that was painless, and lasted for 2 days etc. On 2 weeks I had a lymph node (painless, lasted for 2 weeks). And yes, memory loss, weight loss and memory problems were there.

    After 4 weeks, there were no symptoms for another 4 weeks, and after that, symptoms started again.

    I know that testing is the only way to figure out what’s happening, but I just wonder if you could tell me, if I’m positive, how it can be for these symptoms to start so early?

    Even ONE my family member started experiencing the same (maybe from a nail clipper…) and symptoms are: diarrhea, fatigue, herpes, memory loss, weight loss, etc.

    Maybe there is a new rare/unknown/new subtype with rapid symptoms and rapid progress…

    Thanks dr.

    • I worriedalot

      I didn’t write about fever (within 2-3 hours started).

    • It is impossible for HIV or any other infection to cause symptoms within a few hours of infection. That is a medical fact that does not change not matter what you think. This however it NOT saying that you are NOT infected with HIV. This is because of another medical fact which is a significant percentage of people infected with HIV will not show any symptoms. So worrying about your symptoms will not get you anywhere. You just need to go get tested.

  25. Abdulla

    Dear Dr.
    Exposure vaginal intercourse 19 weeks ago with a female csw in Thailand (protected but not sure of the condon quality or if it slipped during the act)
    symptoms: enlarged tonsils for 2 months, many night sweats until today, weight loss of almost 6kgs, cold arms just started recently and what makes me more worried is my recent WBC of 3,9
    I Tested 9 times negative (7 4th gen duo lab tests, 2 rapid alert determine hiv 1/2) last test was a duo test at week 18 in the biggest international hospital in Bangkok.
    My question:
    1- is there a possibility that the tests missed detecting the infection?
    2- And I am particularly worried of the low wbc count is it common in early stage hiv infection?
    3- my wife just developed a rash on the back of her neck that looks like eczema patch (we last slept together 10 weeks before)does that sound like ars rash?
    Thank you for your time

    • 1. It will be disastrous if 9 tests you did were all false negative.
      2. You do not have HIV.
      3. If you are concerned about the rash, bring her to see a doctor to get assessed.

  26. Hello Doc, Last Dec 10 i exposed with csw by using condom,at 46th day I tested Antibody screening for hiv1 &2, result was negative. And again tested the same at 91 day post exposure the result is non reactive. But 89th day of my exposure i got flu like symptoms and feeling fatigue. Pls doc help me what is this.

    • As far as I am concerned the HIV Ab screening is conclusive at 3 months post exposure. Unless you feel that there is a valid reason to doubt the accuracy of the test that you have done, I do not see a reason for you to be still worried about HIV.

  27. Hi,

    Some background. In all honestly, I visited an escort on Sunday, 28 Feb. I used condom, but with mutual oral, and french kissing, there were no protection. The person don’t seem to be sick. I have been masturbating vigorously before that and past few days prior, maybe my penis may have its skin a little abraded.

    On Thursday, 3 March, I had a mild fever and sore throat, and I took panadol and sleep early. Following day on Friday, i still had a little fever, so I to visit a doctor on the basis that I had sore throat and fever. However, because I had a little discomfort at my groin, at the lymphatic node groin region, its a little red. And around the circumference just below my penis head, there is a some swelling. I decided not to take chance and let him know.

    Next, he told me that I may have STD, and he gave me a jab to my buttocks to kill off bacteria, and gave me two pro/anti biotics to take called, AZmycin (Azithromycin) and Flagyl (Nizole-Metronidaz). I went home to sleep after eating. He told me to come back the following Wednesday. about 5 days later. So for now I am waiting for this 5 days to pass to take blood test.

    So in total, my mild fever lasted 1.5 days (From Thursday to Friday/4-5 Mar) as i slept a lot, drink a lot of water, took panadol, shower with cold water.

    As of now, it is Saturday, after i evaluated that my groin lymphatic node is still a little red, when i touch it, it feels a little like a little blue black feeling. My circumference of my penis just under the head still is swelling and itchy. As for sore throat, there is no more, now just phlegm, and fever gone too.

    On 6-7 Mar, Sat to sun, my groin lymphatic node was a little red, and when I touch it, it feels a little like a little blue black feeling. The circumference of the penis just under the head still is swelling and itchy. As for sore throat, ther ei no more, now just phlegm and fever gone.

    Mon-Wed (8-10 Mar), groin lymphatic no more reddish color and when I touch it the weird feeling is gone. All normal. And the swelling all over the penis subsided but only one part of the shaft, I felt a little lump underneath, and swelling around that region.

    As of today, Thursday, 10th Mar, swelling still there but lesser, but I can still feel a little of that lump. Penis is still itching I suspect because I used too much microbial soap and warm/hot water to clean my penis. I just started using aloe vera.

    I am concerned that this may be an incurable STD like HIV or Herpes. I hope to get a peace of mind or some advice from you.

    For now, I have completed my doctors medication the AZmycin (Azithromycin) and Flagyl (Nizole-Metronidaz). I also included raw garlic in my diet, greek yogurt, and raw harvested honey and also turmeric supplements. I also bought rooibos tea.

    May I ask what else should I do. I really don’t want to die. I’m really scared. I wont do this again.

    • I honestly do not know what kind of advice or peace of mind you want from us. The fact is you are already under the care of a medical doctor. He has seen you and provided you with treatment. He is in a much better position to assess your situation and provide advice. This forum is really not a platform for dispensing medical advice. My strong suggestion to you is to go back to your doctor and address your concerns with him. Trust your doctor.

      • ok. Thanks for your clarification and replying. I just took my blood test and cannot sleep being depressed about it. because all i read online is pointing to a high possibility that I am having it. i was initially hoping that having another perspective on it based on my symptoms. I’m sorry for the inconvenience and thank you for your time.

  28. Hello Dr tan, please am sorry to bother you but am deeply worried. I was diagnosed with HCV and I was tested negative to HIV at 170days with alere determine HIV 1/2 Ab. I have mouth ulcer and rash that just won’t go away for over 6 months now. Please doctor,should I still be worried about HIV? Thanks

  29. worried

    Hello,it’s been almost 7 months post exposure and i’am thinking of getting tested with hiv viral load test.Is it possible to have undetectable viral load eventhough i am truly infected?
    I’m reading that viral load may drop to levels below limit of detection after being at its highest level during acute hiv.Please answer my question,anxiety is killing me.Thanks.

    • At 7 months you should be doing a HIV serology screening test instead of a viral load.

      • Thank you for answer.I am just worried that i could be one of those rare individuals who dont produce antibodies to hiv.Do you think that i should be concerned about this issue?

        • This is known as sero-negative infections. It is very rare. You can read more about it by clicking HERE.

  30. rrrbbbb

    Dear Dr Tan,

    I wanted to understand if the HIV antibodies and antigens used in the rapid test kits can infect a person with HIV if somehow the antibodies go into a persons blood (may be touching the sample pad with a pricked finger). Do antibodies/antigens have ability to infect? How is antigen different from a virus, is it only where virus can reproduce, but the antigen cannot?

    Thank you Sir

  31. Doc. Hiv combo at 13 weeks negative and oraquick at 14 weeks negative conclusive. Migraines for 97 days straight NOW

  32. Dr I tested Elisa 3rd Gen negative at 89 days I can’t access the combo nor I can afford a viral load

    • You do not need a combo or a viral load. A ELISA test 3rd Gen at 89 days post exposure is conclusive.

  33. Hi doctor,
    I did a 3rd generation hiv 1/2 rapid test (finger prick) at a clinic on week 5 and the result was negative.
    How likely will this negative result at week 5 become positive? Are antibodies detectable at week 5 using this test?


    • Assuming it was a 3rd Generation antibody test, it is extremely accurate at 5 weeks. I would say even 99% accurate.

      • Hi dr tan,
        The test kit used was a 3rd Gen test from standard diagnostics inc.
        Thanks for thr reply.

  34. Hello doctor. I am male and before 8 months one sex worker take me a blowjob. After 1 month from the expocure, i developed many symptoms until now (diarrhoea, sometimes flue, severe sore throat, myalgia, night sweats, one swallen tonsil e.t.c). I had multiple negative 4th generation lab tests at 6, 8, 9, 12, 14, 18, 20, 24, 26 weeks.All negative. Also i had 3rd generation rapid blood tests at 14, 25, 29, 31 weeks, all negative. Can i ignore my symptoms that they are not hiv related? If i am a seroconverter could p24 antigen of my 4th generation test stays at detectable levels? Am i hiv free, without doubt or i need further hiv testing?

    • Hi, yes in my opinion you do not have HIV.

      • Excuse me sir, could all my tests be false negative? Is combo test a solution for seroconverters? I am thinking about rare cases who don’t develope antibodies. Once again, can i move on my life? Thank you so much.

  35. hello, please how accurate is alere determine hiv 1 / 2 antibody after four months of possible exposure. broken condom to a lady of unknown status. I have symptoms like oral thrush and slight rash on my arms and tingling hands. thanks

  36. Hi Doctor,

    Ive had my first contact (penetration) dated 10th September which is approx 1.5 wks away from the standard 3 mths period.

    Will my results be conclusive if i come by for a rapid test today?

    Thank you.

  37. Hi Dr.
    I’ve been exposed to an infected blood through several cuts on my fingers. I took ill after about 5 weeks…muscle aches, headache, oral sores. I took a rapid HIV 1/2 test, hep A,B,C, VDRL, all negative at 67 days post exposure. At the lab, I learnt about PEP and took it for 28days..though I later learnt it won’t be effective unless initiated within 72hrs.
    its been 9 months now from d last dose of PEP and I continue to test negative on antibody rapid tests despite overwhelming persistent symptoms. Am I conclusively negative or do i need further test. would the late initiation of PEP affect the accuracy of these tests. thank you sir.

  38. Hi doctor,
    I did a hiv 1/2 rapid blood test (finger prick) 20 days after exposure. I had unprotected anal sex with me being the receptive partner. The top did not ejaculate and the penetration only lasted around 5 mins.
    The test was negative, how accurate is this test at 20days?

  39. makaranta

    i did p24 18 days post exposure which came back positive with OD 0.755,the lab said there normal OD is 0.2,I went for pcr in another lab which came back negative at the same day 18 days post exposure,i went to another lab again and took alee rapid combo with interval of3,9 days after the p24 lab test which all came back negative,how realiable is my pcr plus 2 alee rapid tests with intervals? will my pcr at 18 days covers all my exposues? exposures were protected sex several times,and deep kissed a girl that is positive,which i knew after the incident

    • RNA PCR test can detect HIV after 10 days from exposure. If you are still concerned, you can get yourself a HIV combo test done on day 28.

  40. Hello,please I just want to know if my test at 11 weeks after exposure is conclusive with alere determine HIV 1/2? Am so worried cause I have symptoms like slight rash on my arms and I had sore throat and mouth thrush. Thanks

    • Technically the test is only conclusive at 3 months.

      • hello doc, am really confused about your reply. I thought on your recent update on HIV testing you said antibody test is conclusive at 48days? am really worried cos am in the same shoes. alere determine HIV-1/2 after exposure is not conclusive at 74days too? what are the odds it will turn positive at 12 weeks? am so worried doc.

        • There is a discrepancy between science and guidelines. The science might say antibodies are detectable by 48 days but the guideline still says patients need to be tested for up to 3 months post exposure. The Alere Determine is extremely unlikely to be wrong at 74 days.

      • Hello Doc, I repeated the test again at 12weeks(84days) it was negative. Should I keep testing? Thanks

  41. hi dr…antibody test at 6 month conclusive or not..tq?

  42. i have sex with a prostitute about six month ago. after six month from my last exposure hiv screening is non reactive. Can there are still chances that it will later be detected. worried abt that

  43. Hong Kong

    Dear Dr,
    I am now struggling. Plz Help. I have sex with sex workers from Thainland In Hong Kong 42 Days before. We used condom during sex intercourse but not use it during Oral Sex. Her month is not safe as she is having brace on her teeth. Therefore, she may be bleeding but I don’t know. I kissed her but didn’t find out there is any blood in her tongue. Finally I have taken PEP (Truvada+Isentress) for 28Days. Is it a high risk exposure? Is it useful for taking PEP within 42-43hours. Below are the tests after PEP.
    7Days post pep RNA PCR Negative
    11Days post PEP Antibody Test Negative
    When should I have further testing?

    • The risk of HIV from oral sex is negligible. For more info on getting HIV from oral sex, click here. Your tests are not conclusive. For more info on when to test for HIV after PEP, click here.

  44. Hello dr. Tan

    I did hiv antibody test 8 weeks after the high risk exposure result is non reactive.

    Then 13 or 14 weeks more than 90 days after exposure i did antibody test and the result is non reactive. It is conclusive?


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