Readers ask: How long can hiv go undetected in a blood test?

Can you have HIV for 20 years and not know?

Some people have HIV for years before they know they have it. According to HIV.gov, symptoms of HIV may not appear for a decade or longer. This doesn’t mean that cases of HIV without symptoms are less serious. Also, a person who doesn’t experience symptoms could still transmit HIV to others.

How long does it take for HIV to show up in a blood test after initial infection?

An antigen/antibody test performed by a laboratory on blood from a vein can usually detect HIV infection 18 to 45 days after an exposure.

Can HIV go undetected in a blood test?

An undetectable viral load is where antiretroviral treatment (ART) has reduced your HIV to such small quantities that it can no longer be detected by standard blood tests. People living with HIV who have an undetectable viral load cannot pass HIV on through sex. Being undetectable does not mean your HIV is cured.

How Long Can HIV be in your system before being detected?

HIV tests detect antibodies — the immune system’s response to infection. For the majority of people, HIV testing will be accurate at four to six weeks after possible infection. However, for some people it may take longer — up to three months — for detectable antibodies to develop.

How long can you stay undetectable?

A person’s viral load is considered “durably undetectable” when all viral load test results are undetectable for at least six months after their first undetectable test result. This means that most people will need to be on treatment for 7 to 12 months to have a durably undetectable viral load.

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Is it possible to test negative while your partner is positive?

A: It is quite common for one partner to test positive and the other negative, even if they have been having sex without condoms. Mostly this is explained by luck and the role of other risk factors. Over time, most people will catch HIV if they continue to be at risk.

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