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Why 6 Weeks HIV test considered conclusive in some countries and US states

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Old 07-11-2010, 12:42 PM   #1
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Annaliese HB User
Why 6 Weeks HIV test considered conclusive in some countries and US states

Dear All,

This is just a post for worried people who had questionable exposure. Most people think 12 weeks is the gold standard. However there are countries that take 6 weeks as conclusive provided testing is done with third or fourth generation tests and persons are not immunocompromised. Countries/States that use 6 weeks as conclusive is:


There are other countries apparently like Jamaica, China, Greece however I can't find information on them except for Australia and Masschusetts.

I found information from Australia Health Department official website that states this:

Sero-conversion and window periods. Anti-HIV tests are presently available as third and fourth generation tests. Fourth generation tests include the facility to identify either or both antigen and antibody.

The window period or time between infection and when a testís target analyte(s) can first be detected, varies from test to test. The window period for third and fourth generation anti-HIV tests is 3 Ė 5 weeks after infection and for antigen/antibody tests approximately 2 weeks.

6 weeks is to be conservative.

If anyone needs the link just private message me as I cannot post here due to posting policy. I hope to help people facing what I faced calm down. By helping I can move on and continue to move on. Amen God Bless.

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Old 07-11-2010, 08:09 PM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 452
missingyou HB Usermissingyou HB User
Re: Why 6 Weeks HIV test considered conclusive in some countries and US states

The only reason why a 4 - 6 week HIV test can in some instances be considered conclusive is if it's a 4th generation antibody/antigen test these tests aren't offered everywhere. Like I stated in your other thread their are circumstances where testing is warranted at 3 and 6 months post exposure these include PEP, Agammaglobulinemia, a known exposure to an HIV infected individual, etc....

If 4-6 weeks was truely conclusive in virtually all cases their wouldn't ever be the need for testing at 3 and 6 months post exposure their are discrepancies due to certain circumstances.

Part of the "conclusiveness" of these tests is reflected on the fact almost all people who get tested and know their exact date are worried about an unprotected exposure when they actually never came into contact with the HIV virus. A very high % of people show up positive on an HIV test 4-8 weeks post exposure but at the same time it's far from everyone so factoring this all in it's reasonable in many instance so say that test result was conclusive but that's not the case all the time.

he is an part on an article on HIV-1 Strain Surveillance in Canada

"1. Improve HIV Diagnostics and Screening Strategies

The broad genetic diversity of HIV has implications for the ability of diagnostic tests to reliably detect circulating HIV strains.3,4 The sentinel arm of the CHSDRSP, through the reference services of the National HIV Laboratories, addresses this goal by testing samples with unusual test results. Based on the knowledge of circulating HIV strains, modifications can be made to current tests to ensure that all HIV-positive persons are detected upon testing. This is also relevant for ensuring the safety of the blood supply, since the tests used for screening donated blood should be able to detect circulating HIV variants."

Last edited by missingyou; 07-11-2010 at 08:17 PM.

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