The Timing for HIV Tests?

HIV/AIDS Myths and Facts
Doctor's Responses Archive

Viewer Question:
How long after you think you may have been infected with HIV do you need to wait to be tested?

Doctor's Response:
After exposure to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), if one becomes infected, antigen will become detectable starting at about two weeks. Antibodies to various HIV antigens do not start being detectable until 1 to 3 months following exposure, but sometimes this takes even longer.

Recommendations for testing vary, but probably the most reasonable course of testing is to test for HIV antibodies at 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year.

Thank you for your question.

Last Editorial Review: 8/17/2001

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