Talking about home testing for HIV

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Boz

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4

5 weeks after potential exposure

Hi, took the biosure self test a few days ago 5 weeks after potential exposure and the result was negative. However, I have read elsewhere that 2nd generation tests have limited accuracy at 5 weeks so as a result I have been really anxious lately as my symptoms; headache, muscle ache, sore throat, irritated skin, all show no sign of improving. Any reassurance in terms of how accurate the biosure test is at 5 weeks and anything else I can do before being retested at 12 weeks would be welcome, thanks.

4 Responses

Gary Carpenter BioSure (UK) Limited
 Work on 20th November 2017

Hi NaveenĀ  - Thanks for getting in touch. The BioSURE HIV Self Test relies on your body producing antibodies to HIV. This process is very variable from person to person. Some people will make enough antibodies to be detected after 3 or 4 week. However, some people won't make enough until 12 weeks post infection. If you have the antibodies the test will detect about 999 in every 1,000 cases. After 39 days a few more than 90% of people will have made enough. So your negative test result is very encouraging, but should not be considered as conclusive. Kind regards Gary Carpenter BioSure (UK) Limited

naveen
 Used on 18th November 2017

Sir i have protected begins sex but at the time of ejaculation condom slept completely not on my penis just hanging on begins 30 second oral sex also after 22 days i got fever i take a paracitamole and be ok after 3 days i am suffering from sore throat some red dots on my arm headache one night night sweats 39 th day i take rapid antibody test which came negative how reliable this is and what about my symptom which is still present

Boz
 Used on 09th March 2017

Thanks Gary

Gary Carpenter, BioSure (UK) Limited
 Work on 09th March 2017

Hi Boz I can understand your anxiety. There are a few things to bear in mind and a couple of options. The BioSURE HIV Self Test, like the vast majority of rapid point of care type tests that are used in the NHS, detect antibodies to the virus rather than detecting the virus itself. Different people go through the process of creation of these antibodies, also known as seroconversion, at different times. So the ability of the test to correctly identify an infection is dependent more on the person being tested than the test itself. The true probability of test accuracy are difficult to absolutely define, but our best guess is that at around 5 weeks about 60% of people will have created enough of the right kind of antibodies for the test to work correctly. So that's encouraging. But, unfortunately, not conclusive. The symptoms of early seroconversion illness are the start of the body's reaction to the infection and this means the production of antibodies. Only around 60-70% of people with HIV actually develop these symptoms. In this instance it seems sensible to suggest that another test 8 weeks after exposure would be accurate. There are laboratory based tests available through NHS GUM clinics and GP surgeries that can detect the virus itself. These tests are generally accurate from about 4 weeks. So you have a couple of options to resolve this - both require testing again. I'm sorry that I can't give you a more definitive answer. Kind regards Gary Carpenter BioSure (UK) Limited

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