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HIV Testing and Peace of Mind
Curiousity83 posted:
In April 2004 I had unprotected sex with a female twice. I ended up moving to a new state and getting insurance (auto / life). They tested me for HIV due to getting life insurance roughly 4-5 weeks after this. All tests came back negative, but I have had this sinking feeling since then.

Today I decided to pickup one of the Oraquick tests from CVS and take it home to test myself.

- I have not had sex since 2004 (the female above)
- I had strep throat shortly after sex with said female
- My test today came back Negative

Is there any reason to believe this could be a false negative and I should get further testing? Thank you in advance.
georgiagail responded:
No. No further testing is required. You are HIV negative.

False negatives occur when someone tests too early after transmission (say, only days or a few weeks after an exposure). They may be positive but there are not yet enough antibodies present to be picked by the current testing methods.

Someone who was positive 9 years later would not only be showing a positive result but might also be beginning to exhibit the symptoms of moving from HIV into AIDS (if untreated during this time period).

You ARE HIV negative.

Curiousity83 replied to georgiagail's response:

Thank you for the information, it really helped me start to settle. I do have one more question though.

I am certain your first reply was enough, however, If it was moving from HIV to AIDS would HIV antibodies be present for the test?

Thanks in advance
georgiagail replied to Curiousity83's response:
Yes. It is only at the very end stage of AIDS that there is a chance that antibodies are not longer being produced.

However, by then, the patient is, quite literally, sick as a dog; exhibiting symptoms of being extremely weak, diarrhea, severe, unexplained weight loss, PCP pneumonia, certain types of cancers, etc..

At that point the immune system is so terrible damaged by the virus that opportunistic infections are common because antibodies to any of these infections (including the virus) can no longer be produced by the immune system. In other words, the patient can no longer fight off these infections. What finally causes death in the end stage AID patient is not the virus itself but one of the opportunistic infection associated with this damaged immune system.

Curiousity83 replied to georgiagail's response:
Sorry, just for clarification and my last peace of mind (I promise).

Since I am a seemingly healthy and functioning male (go to work / school / gym / sports) it's safe to assume that my test is conclusive (antibodies would be present) and the negative result is in fact correct?

Thank you once again for your continued help
georgiagail replied to Curiousity83's response:

You don't have HIV, you're not at the stage of AIDS, you'd be producing antibodies if infected and thus your OraQuick test results were quite accurate in terms of your status.


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