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    Hiv Rapid Test after 5.5 years
    worriedstill87 posted:
    So I have a random question but I feel like it makes since to ask it.

    I had a possible exposure about 5.5 years ago. Yes I said years. But my question is... Is that too long to wait for an hiv rapid antibody test? Would it show up negative?
    georgiagail responded:
    It is certainly not too late to take the standard screening test (which is the rapid antibody test).

    If you are not HIV positive the result would, of course be "non reactive" (i.e., negative).

    worriedstill87 replied to georgiagail's response:
    Thank you so much Gail. It just popped into my head that exposure and I was afraid that I waited too long to get tested. So the rapid test oraquick and finger prick tests are fine correct?
    georgiagail replied to worriedstill87's response:
    Yes; you are correct; either (both) are fine.

    Once infected..and when the immune system has become aware of this begins to "crank out" these antibodies in an attempt to fight the virus. This is what the screening tests check for.

    The recommended time period for testing is three months after a potential encounter just to make certain there are enough antibodies present to be picked up by current testing methods.

    The immune system doesn't stop producing these antibodies although in some individuals who are at the very end of this disease (i.e., those who have entered the stage of AIDS) the immune system may be so terribly damaged that it can no longer produce antibodies to any infection. HOWEVER, at that point the symptoms of this disease are really impossible to miss. severe weight loss, diarrhea, extreme weakness, pneumonia, many infections that one has great difficulty treating because, again, the immune system is unable to really function to fight these off.

    I hope this makes sense...

    worriedstill87 replied to georgiagail's response:
    Thank you so much for clarifying that for me. I thought it would be kind of stupid to ask about that long period of time but i have never seen anything to say it was too long or it wasn't. You knowledge is amazing. And I want to thank you for your amazing help with everything you do on this site.

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