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PROTECTED SEX, NEGATIVE TEST, STILL NERVOUS

QUESTION
I had protected sex with someone who did not know he was HIV positive. I was anally receptive, and this man never ejaculated that evening. I was told about his HIV status a few months later and was promptly tested afterwards. The test came out negative, but I am still worried. What should I do?

ANSWER
The usual HIV test measures the antibodies in the body that are reacting to the HIV virus. It can take about one to three months for this antibody to show up after infection. If someone is tested less than three months after having sex with an HIV positive partner, they should certainly get retested. There is a 'window period' between infection and a reactive antibody test. There are more accurate HIV tests available, however, called a HIV viral load test. Your doctors can order that test and since that becomes positive about 1 week after exposure, if the HIV viral load test is negative, that makes HIV infection extremely unlikely. The HIV viral load test is offered at San Francisco City Clinic, www.sfcityclinic.org and at Magnet, the gay menís sexual health center in the Castro, www.magnetsf.org.

See a similar question: http://www.sfcityclinic.org/drk/hivaids19.asp.

To your health,
Dr. K


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Last modified on Wednesday, May 05, 2010.
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