I had high risk encounter in November 2012 and did HIV tests, 3 days, 1, 3 and 6 months after. How accurate are my results? Do I need to continue to retest because of the 2012 incident?
I had high risk encounter in November 2012 and did HIV tests, 3 days, 1, 3 and 6 months after. The test was an antibody test, with blood being taken from my arm. I am not sure if the type of test matters. All of these tests were came back negative. In October 2013, nearly one year after my encounter, I have retested and I am awaiting results. I do not engage in high risk activities since, and have remained protected. How accurate are my results? Do I need to continue to retest because of the 2012 incident?
I recommend that you discuss this with your primary care physician. In general, I would say that if this last test (the one that you had in October 2013) came back negative then you probably don't need any more testing for HIV unless you have another high-risk encounter. Still, it is best to discuss with your primary care physician. I defined a high-risk encounter as using IV drugs, or having unprotected sex with an unknown partner. In general, when somebody has unprotected sex with a new partner I usually will provide them with a series of tests for various sexually-transmitted infections. I will sometimes wait to testing for HIV as the antibody test can take some time (weeks to months) to come back positive. If the encounter was particularly high risk I will always offer them prophylaxis against HIV. Prophylactic treatment of HIV usually means that you take one of the anti-HIV medications for a few months which can help prevent infection if your partner was actually HIV-positive. Since you're well out of the window this prophylactic treatment would not be helpful at this time. If there's a negative antibody test at three or six months I usually treat that as a negative result. Again, I would suggest that you discuss this issue further with your primary care physician. The general recommendations are that everybody should be tested for HIV at least once in their life. You have already been tested, but if you have any further concerns about other activity in the future you should always be tested again.
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