There seems to be some comfusion about this, and I'm not really sure what's what.
I have heard before from some people that over many years, they have been tested and came up negative. Then one day they test positive and firmly believe that they were only exposed years before. Meaning they had HIV and had been tested all that time with it coming back negative.
Is it true that you can get HIV, be tested over years with the results showing up as negative, and then show up positive years after exposure? Does HIV really stay that dorment over such a long period for time.
I know there is an incubation period, which was six months. When I got tested two years ago I talked to a case worker that said the tests they have now can get results after a month of exposure. So I always knew there was that very small window period. But years?
I didn't think that was possible. I know you can HAVE HIV and not get sick for years, but if you are tested, it shows up. I think the real problem is not the diseases, but the confusion people seem to have about them.
Also, the sources that told me these things were not that reliable and was second-hand information, but I'm hearing it more and more. And one person said their doctor told them this.
Is it true, or are people not wanting to admit the truth?
TK421. According to latest research and statistics, what you mention is possible, but extremely (and I do repeat), extremely rare. You do realize that no two people are exactly alike...so are their immune systems. There are even cases where patients who have testes positive at one time, dure to seroconversion, do something called "seroreversion", whoch would be clinically interpreted as "cured" from HIV. Sadly, there are only a handful of cases worldwide, and to the best of my knowledge are being monitored closely by the medical research.
In summary, yes...it is possible to pass many years before appearing + on an ELISA. But the 99.x (forgiveme for I do not have the exact decimal and I dont want to assume here), seroconvert within 6 months from exposure.
99% of people will test positive within 90 days or sooner. For somebody to go outside the 90 day, or even 6 month mark is rare. There are only a few cases of somebody going past 6 months. This is so rare I would not be concerned about this. Keep in mind that HIV testing has been drastically improved the past few years. Years ago it was probably possible to get a false result, but with testing so advanced now, it rarely happens. MOST people that find out they have HIV or AIDS were never tested in the first place, or had been exposed again since their last test, or tested within the window period.
From what I have read, many cases that take 6 months or more to manifest are cases in the nedical community. Usually if the have been infected through a needlestick, and often if they were infected with hepatits C at the same time. When you are exposed to a virus,your body begins to fight it, producing antibodies. That is what the HIV test is, it looks for the antibodies you body is making to fight the HIV. If you are healthy there is no reason to suspect your body would not do what it should. Usually, from what I have read, the people who take a while to test+ have weakened immune systems, or are exposed to other viruses at the same time. Good luck!!
I too have heard of cases where ppl tested positive and then a few months later seroconvereted to a negative result. Mostly this seems to take place amongst babies born to infected mothers and one of the theories is that it is due to the unique immune system of infants and children. There have however been a handful of cases in which adults have apparently done the same. I am unsure of whether or not the explanation id that they miraculously seroconverted or theie positive result was false. Hell, I'm not very religious so call me a cynic! I have a hard time believing in the strange and unusual.
Shan when I had my son they said he would most likely show + initially because babies take on Mom's antibodies. It's not until they develop their own that they will determine whether they will be + or not. He did show positive and with all newborns to infected mothers they started him on meds. 4 months later negative. He's never had another +.
I have one thing to say to ur question ,and the answer is yes.I have and anut that went 14 years before a doctor decided to test her they told her all kinds of thing.When they decided to finally do the hiv test on hercome to find out that she had this deadly disease for the hole time that she had been going to the doctors.She was one of those people that was faithful the only thing she was forced to do was drugs with her hubby and I stress forced.He would hold her down and have his friends inject her and he would inject her witht he same needle that everyone else had used.She told her doc all of this and still it took them 14 years to find out so yes to ur question a person can have hiv for years before they know.
A person can be HIV positive and test negative in two instances -
1) When a person has been recently infected and he or she hasn't produced antibodies yet. The vast majority of people will seroconvert 4-6 weeks after exposure. A very small minority will take up to 6 months.
2) When a person is in the very late stage of AIDS he or she can test negative because their immune system has been completely eradicatd and they don't have any antibodies left. In this instance you would know that you are HIV positive as you would have a host of opportunistic infections.
People don't go on for years testing negative if they are positive. Today the consensus is that testing 13 weeks past potential exposure yields a conclusive result...unless you are an IV drug user, were possibly infected via needlestick or have an existing autoimmune disorder.
[This message has been edited by moderator1 (edited 09-01-2003).]
Again, you can see the confusion. There seems to be more people who say it isn't possible, then the few who SWEAR it has happened.
I think Spatten was confused about the question. Spatten, you said you "have an anut that went 14 years before a doctor decided to test her." Then she was NOT tested for HIV in those 14 years - had she been tested FOR HIV in all that time, she might have known so much sooner. It isn't the symptoms were talking about to show up, but the virus itself. Can it stay hidden while you test for years and years.
Basically that would mean a whole lot more people would be at risk. Couples trying to have babies can think they are being safe and responsable by getting tested, but therefor spread it to their partner unkowingly? This would be the same for ANY couple. How are we then to be protected if we go get a test and it really dosn't show up for years. It's a little hard to believe but there are people I know - although I do not trust any of what they have to say - who swear they had to have had HIV for years and tested Negative. (I think that they actually did know or at least didn't get tested until they got sick. Two of my friends are in relationships and I believe would lie since they don't want to be caught possibly cheating.)
It seems to still be in debate so hopefully more people will share their knowledge about this topic.