Talking about home testing for HIV

Tell your story




Antibodies question

Had a test at 7 weeks and it’s negative which I realise is a good sign but not conclusive. What I don’t understand is…

I thought antibodies are created in reaction to hiv being in your system. So surely when you get those first symptoms of what you think is hiv from 2-4 weeks after a risk, antibodies would be created and detected by the test?

I had diarrhea after 3 weeks that cleared up in 5 days so I’d have thought antibodies would have been created then?

1 Responses

Becky, BioSure UK Ltd
 Work on 17th August 2021

Hi Stressedandanxious, Up to 4 weeks after exposure to HIV most people experience flu-like symptoms for 1 or 2 weeks. This is known as the seroconversion period and is when antibodies are produced in response to the virus. After seroconversion, an HIV test is able to detect antibodies and therefore will be able to accurately detect infection. Our test has a window period of 12 weeks due to the fact that there must be a detectable level of antibodies for the test to be able to accurately detect infection. By 6 weeks it has been estimated that around 95% of people will have produced enough antibodies for our test to be able to detect infection. So yes, a negative result at 7 weeks is a good indication of your status as it is likely you are in the 95% of people who produce antibodies by 6 weeks however, you should retest at 12 weeks to know for sure. Hope this answers your query, if you need further explanation or have any other questions please feel free to leave them below. Thank you, Becky

Post Your Response

  • Tell us your story
  • Label your post

Step 1. Tell your story

Feel free to complete the form below in your own words - write as much or as little as you like! Your comments will be appear anonymously on PEBL.