Tested HIV neg at 5 months but experiencing multiple HIV symptoms

Originally Posted: 
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Question: 

 Please help...last exposure was with old GF 5 months ago.  Started having ARS symptoms 4 months after last exposure and they have contiued to today (past the 5 month point of last exposure).  Took OralQuick Rapid HIV 1 & 2 test at 5 months. It was negative result.   Do you know of cases of folks seroconverting after 3 months.  I am worrying myself into being committed. 

Answer: 

Hi there and thank you for your question,
 Was the Rapid test you took done at a clinic, hospital or by a health care provider? If so, a negative test result at 5 months is considered conclusive and definite. The international standard for testing is that any test done at or 3 months post exposure is conclusive and no further testing is not required after this point. ARS symptoms can develop in some people 2 -6 weeks after infection, however, these symptoms can mirror many other viral infections and are not a good indicator of HIV transmission as they do not occur in everybody. In addition, they are not chronic but typically clear up in a week or so. If you are still experiencing fever-like symptoms, I would suggest seeing visiting your doctor or healthcare professional to determine that cause of the symptoms.
 The only cases where HIV testing would be necessary for a specific individual after 3 months are those who have a properly diagnosed compromised/weak immune system. Sometimes the antibodies take longer to develop in these individuals than normal people but unless this were the situation, you do not have to worry about seroconversion being an issue.I hope this answers your questions, please let us know if you have any other questions or concerns.
 
Take care,
Wendy
AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer
Mon-Fri 9am-4pm PST
604.696.4666

Comments

Submitted by Moe (not verified) on

I have same situation ,
Had sex and condom broke ,
10 days after I got all the stmptoms related to hiv
Some of them still exist
White tongue , swollen lumph nodes in neck on and off , my mucles are tired and weak specially my legs , i lost more than 7 kg , lost my appetite and sleep like a pig

I tested negative for these tests

6 weeks oraquick oral swab hiv1/2
2 months hiv antibodies duno which generation " overseas
2.5 months antibodies " overseas "
3 months antibodies "overseas"
4 months antibodies "overseas"
5 months Cmia ab/ag "overseas"

I have no idea what generation they used to do hiv tests overseas " egypt "

So do u think im good with my 5 months negative although i have all these symptoms ?

Thanks

helpline2's picture
Submitted by helpline2 on

Hi Moe, 

Current international HIV testing guidelines suggest testing at or after 12 weeks post-exposure for conclusive results. As such, your negative results at 3, 4, and 5 months are conclusive for no current infection, provided that no potential exposures occured in the 12 week period preceeding the most recent test. While I cannot state which tests are used in Egypt specifically, I can tell you that HIV tests are manufactured to conform with international standards, and that you should feel comfortable in relying on your test results. However, we do encourage all sexually active individuals to opt for regular STI (including HIV) testing for their safety and the safety of their partners. Depending on the individual, this may be on an annual, biannual, or every 3-4 month basis.

In regards to your symptoms, however distressing they may be, symptoms cannot be used to diagnose HIV infection - testing is the only reliable way to diagnose an infection. However, if you find that your symptoms are interfering with your day to day activities, I do encourage you to seek the advice of a health care provider for further investigation. 

All the best, 

Jonathan
AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer

 

Submitted by Lorenzo (not verified) on

I had encounters with a female 7 months ago. Right away i felt pain in my prostate. A few weeks later i had a prostate infection and continued to feel pain throughout my body. I was tested through blood at the 2, 4, and 6 month stages for HIV. Every tested concluded negative. I have back pain, neck pain, sweating, headaches and more symptoms. I have been to the doctor 23 times in the past 6 months. My internal medicine specialist says after the first 2 tests there is no way that it could be HIV and even after the 6th month test he says i am wasting my time because he is as positive as he can be it is NOT that. I also get furry tounge a lot and other seeming "infections" I have no idea what to think but the worst "HIV" I was always healthy played division one baseball, soccer and golf. Sports are my life and if i have HIV and cannot play them i have no reason to live. I need opinions and any input anyone can give me. Is it really possibly for as healthy as someone can be to test negative after a six month period?? Thanks

helpline2's picture
Submitted by helpline2 on

Hi Lorenzo, 

Current international guidelines recommend testing at or after 12 weeks post-exposure for a conclusive result. As such, provided that you have not had any further sexual activity in the interim, you do not have HIV. In some rare cases, an individual may be referred for testing at 6 months post infection but since this too came back negative it reinforces the fact that you do not have HIV

In addition, it is important to note that the symptoms you have been experiencing have a wide variety of possible causes both unrelated to an HIV infection and far more likely. Given the significant anxiety you seem to be experiencing, I suggest that you may wish to connect with a counselor, or approach your internist for a referral to an appropriate counseling service to help you move past your anxiety. 

Finally, I would also like to note that having an HIV infection in no way prevents someone from participating in sports such as baseball, soccer, and golf. HIV is not transmitted through casual contact. Indeed the only high risk activities for the transmission of HIV are unprotected vaginal or anal sex, or sharing needles for drug use. 

Hopefully this information helps to give you some peace of mind.

All the best, 

Jonathan
AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer

Submitted by brar (not verified) on

I had sex with a sex worker 6 months ago. I used a condom but had oral sex without a condom. I feel all HIV related symptoms. I read alot about HIV on the net and now have too much worry and spend alot restless nights,filled with tears and worry. I tested 2 times negative after 3 and 5 month exposure but still feel symptoms like cold and some brown marks on my body please guide me.

Helpline1's picture
Submitted by Helpline1 on

Hi Brar and thanks for using the AIDS Vancouver Online Helpline as a source for HIV/AIDS related information.

First of all, a sex worker is not necessarily at a higher risk for HIV than anyone else.  Anyone can pass HIV, no matter what age, occupation, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation.  It is the activity (i.e... unprotected vaginal/anal intercourse, needle sharing) that poses an HIV risk.

Secondly, there are no clinically-defined HIV symptoms.  Some infected individuals experience a strong, flu-like illness, 2-6 weeks post-exposure, which usually disappears within 8-10 days.  However, many infected individuals experience no symptoms, whatsoever.

Thirdly, there is a lot of misinformation and sensationalized information out there on the internet.  As you are well aware, not everything on the internet is true.

Finally, if you have had no further risky activity , your negative test results at both 3 months and 5 months post-exposure are conclusive and no further testing is required.

The symptoms you are experiencing are not HIV related, however, if they do persist, I would encourage you to speak to your health care professional so that they may be addressed.

I trust I have answered your concerns, however should your require further information, feel free to contact us again.

In good health,
Jon,
AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer

Submitted by brar (not verified) on

Its my 7 month of my exposure now days I feel night sweats and some brown marks , and also I have cold that not gone from last 6 month and I gain weight again but I'm too much worry I think a lot about HIV from last 7 month net make me crazy anything I see on net I feel in my body my mind one corner always depressed please guide me what I have to do

helpline2's picture
Submitted by helpline2 on

Hi Brar and thanks for contacting us again.

As I explained to you, the symptoms you are experiencing are in no way related to an HIV infection.  

Although I am not a physician, I would suggest all the symptoms you are experiencing are stress-related.  However, I would strongly encourage you to discuss these symptoms with your Health Care Professional so that they may be addressed.

I trust I have answered your concern however, should you require further information, feel free to contact us again.

In good health,
Jon,
AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer

Submitted by brar (not verified) on

Sorry for disturb u again but in my mouth I feel ulcers turned into hard lumps and on my legs round brown skin marks appear and my hands tingle and very senstive now always peel . Its my eigth month I feel symptoms till now earlier I feel all hiv related symptoms as I seen on net plz guide me all this kill me I always read more and more on net and I'm engazed with one good girl I don't want cheat her plz advice me what I need to do so my mind calm

helpline2's picture
Submitted by helpline2 on

Hello Brar,

No need for apology! We are happy to help. 

Symptoms you may have found while Googling may show up after living with HIV 5-7 years, sometimes longer, without taking medication for it. As Jon mentioned, HIV cannot be diagnosed by looking at symptoms; testing is the only way to know one's HIV status, which you have done and obtained negative results at 3 and 5 months.

Although the internet is a great resource, not all information is correct. You have mentioned that your body might have mimicked the symptoms you read online, and I cannot agree with you more. It seems you have put a lot of stress and anxiety over the past 7 months. There you like it or not, stress can do so much on our body. As Jon suggested, it may be the time to seek medical attention so that you can address and take appropriate steps.

It seem you are having difficult time moving on. Although we can provide as much information as you need, at the end of the day, you are the one who needs to find a conclusion to this. Your test result at 3 and 5 months are conclusive and definite; you are HIV negative. The symptoms you are experiencing are not related to symptoms of HIV. It may be an option for you to talk to a professional counselor so you can find a way to let go.

Sincerely,
Yoshiko
AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer

Submitted by robert (not verified) on

Dear sir,
i was in a very bad mental position to state that, its almost 8 weeks now, i have a very bad night took a lot of alcohol and then went with two girls with one of my friend and had started protect sex with both of them, both of them suck my penis and then with the next girl when i started sex i found my condom slipped away and i suddenly stopped.
Then i took a rapid hiv test at 6 week post exposure i dnt know which generation it was, the blood was taken from my vain from upper side of elbow and then centrifuged and put the serum for the test, and came out negative for both me and my friend.we are also tested for hepatitis B,C and syphelys which were also negative.
Suddenly after 8 weeks i found few red rashes in my arm and neck and even white spot in my tongue, for tongue it is almost clear but the rashes i am very afraid of..........please suggest me on this, whether those are symptoms or i am just afraid....i will also go for a 12 week test......and by god grace should be negative hope.....

Helpline1's picture
Submitted by Helpline1 on

Hi Robert,

It is great to hear that you used a condom during your encounter, as protected sex is a low risk activity for the passing of HIV. You may be surprised to know that even if the condom breaks, it is still providing some protection against fluids that have the potential to harbor the HIV virus. 

Rapid tests do not have generations, but they are highly accurate tests just the same. Your negative HIV test result at 6 weeks is an excellent indication of your status. Up to 95% of infections are detectable within 4-6 weeks with any HIV antibody test (including Rapid tests) and most people develop detectable antibodies within 21-25 days. 

Even if you experienced symptoms at 8 weeks, you can trust your test results. Symptoms are never used to diagnose an HIV infection, as many infections share the same symptoms. I encourage you to work with a health care professional that you trust in order to get to the bottom of what is causing your symptoms, as they are very unlikely to be related to an HIV infection. 

When you go for your conclusive test at 12 weeks, I fully expect your results to stay negative. 

Sincerely,

Elyse

AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer 

 

Submitted by John (not verified) on

Hey there,
I took a test for hiv on the 1.5 months and 5 months after the possible exposure, is it 100% conclusive? (i have a strong immune system)

Helpline1's picture
Submitted by Helpline1 on

Hi there,

Thank you for using the AIDS Vancouver Online Helpline as your source of HIV-related information.

All HIV tests taken at or after three months post-exposure are considered absolutely conclusive by international guidelines. Your test at five months is absolutely conclusive: you do not have HIV.

Please let us know if you have any further questions or concerns.

Best wishes,
Griffin
AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer

Submitted by Veronica (not verified) on

Hi. I've been freaking out for months about this. I had unprotected sex with someone in the beginning of January and since then have taken 5 tests, the last one being in mid April and they have all been negative. I'm still freaking out because I've read it can take up to six months to produce enough anti bodies. Please ease my worries. Every little symptom of illness I have I think is HIV.

Helpline1's picture
Submitted by Helpline1 on

Hello Veronica,
Thank you for using the AIDS Vancouver Helpline as your source of HIV related information.

It is true that some websites state 6 months as conclusive. They don't know where people are accessing their websites from and what guidelines are in their locations; thus they say 6 months as conclusive as a precautious measurement. However, the World Health Organization and the international guidelines for HIV testing suggest 3 months/12 weeks as conclusive. Majority of us will detectable amount of antibodies in 21-25 days. 
HIV tests we have now are sensitive, reliable and accurate. That is why 3 months is considered conclusive.

It sounds you are experience strong stress and anxiety since January. The more you read,  the more confused and overwhelmed you may become. Although online is a great resource, not all information is accurate.

Hopefully you find the information helpful and courage to move on.
Let us know if you have any other questions.

Stay healthy and keep smiling,
Yoshiko
AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer

Submitted by Shelia (not verified) on

Had unprocted sex Jan 19 ,2013 un known person got ,start having symthons around March 4,2013 stomach problem s snd some diaherrs,white patches on tongue,weak I have tested at 7 weeks,and 4 and half months,tested negative,

Helpline1's picture
Submitted by Helpline1 on

Hi there,

Thank you for using the AIDS Vancouver Online Helpline as your source of HIV-related information.

All HIV tests taken at or after three months post-exposure are considered absolutely conclusive by international guidelines -- your test at 4 and a half months confirms that you do not have HIV. There are no clinically defined symptoms of HIV; the only way to know your status is to get tested, which it's great to hear that you've done. If your health problems persist, we recommend that you see a doctor to determine the cause, because it is not HIV infection.

Please don't hesitate to let us know if you have any further questions.

Best wishes,
Griffin
AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer

Submitted by brar (not verified) on

sorry for disturbing u again i did my rapid hiv test at7 and 1/2 month after my exposure it come back negative and i also did my hepatitis A b and c test all come negative . before i feel all hiv related symptoms i read on net plz advice me my 7 month test is satisfactory or still i need to test me again

Helpline1's picture
Submitted by Helpline1 on

Hi there,

Thank you for using the AIDS Vancouver Online Helpline as your source of HIV-related information.

All HIV tests are considered absolutely conclusive at or after three months post-exposure: your test at 7 and a half months is definitely satisfactory. You do not have HIV. If you have not had any other high-risk exposures, there is no need to be tested further, though we do recommend that all sexually active individuals get tested regularly for all sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, on a schedule that suits your individual needs.

There are no clinically defined symptoms of HIV infection -- there is a lot of misinformation floating around the internet, but the only way to know your status is to get tested, which it's great to hear that you've done.

Please don't hesitate to ask if you have any further concerns.

Best wishes,
Griffin
AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer

Submitted by jerry (not verified) on

I have persistant lymph node swelling and fatigue at three months post exposre. Its been ongoing for about two months
Im from us and had standard blood drawn antibody test at 18 and 25 weeks both negative. If hese symptoms were due to hiv would i have trsted positive

Submitted by davidn on

Hello and thanks for the questions. Your HIV negative test at the 18 week point was considered conclusive and no further testing is required. You are indeed HIV negative. HIV testing is now more accurate than ever before and an HIV test is now conclusive at 12 weeks, post risk exposure. 

Symptoms, while an understandable concern are never an indication of HIV. if these ailments continue or worsen, please  note each issue and seek medical attention.

The great news here is that you do not have HIV.

David.


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