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Hello, I need your help with a very specific question. The current HIV tests cover all types and subtypes including the rare strains of the HIV virus? Is it possible that they miss some rare strain or type of the HIV virus? How confident can I be after getting a negative HIV result at 12 weeks with the fourth generation test post a high risk exposure and typical symptoms ?


Thanks for writing.

The 4th generation HIV test covers HIV-1 and HIV-2. We do not see other subtypes of HIV, and we would consider a negative test at 12 weeks to be conclusive.

If you have had a negative HIV test at 12 weeks after a possible exposure we would say that you are negative, even if you are having symptoms.

The typical symptoms for HIV sero-conversion are very general, and can be caused by many different things (for ex: flu-like symptoms are most often caused by cold/flu, nausea can be caused by stress etc.). If you are having persistent symptoms we would recommend talking to a health care provider in person.

It’s common for people to worry after having a possible exposure to HIV. Check out our Worry and Anxiety page for some helpful ideas.

Please let us know if you need any additional information.

Health Nurse

This answer was posted on April 23, 2018

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