Video on the HIV Window Period and Test Accuracy
HIV Window Period and Test Accuracy
Today we are going to talk about the HIV Window Period and the Accuracy of HIV tests.
This has understandably caused a lot of confusion.
The HIV Window Period is the time from when a person is infected with HIV to when our tests can tell us that he or she is infected with HIV.
This means if a person who is infected does a test during this so-called window period, the test will tell us he is NOT infected with HIV even though he is. This is called a false negative test.
Also Read: HIV Test & HIV Post Exposure Prophylaxis
Logically, the window period depends on the type of HIV test done.
The PCR RNA HIV test is accurate from 10 days after infection.
The 4th Generation HIV test aka the combo test is accurate from 28 days after infection.
So what happens between day 1 and 10 you ask? This is called the eclipse period where no tests we have now are accurate.
To keep it simple, just remember this: If you are 10 days to a month from exposure, get the HIV RNA test. If you are 28 days or more from the date of exposure, get the HIV 4th generation test.