Talking about home testing for HIV

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Antibody detection

Hi there

I have done 2 Biosure tests well outside the window period and both were clearly negative (one very visible control line only). Via local sexual health charity, I also took an Insti Multiplex HIV Syphilis Ab test by Biolytical on which was also negative. I took these tests following high-risk exposure following which I experienced a seroconversion-like illness. I have had no further exposure to HIV since the incident that I have tested in relation to 3 times.

In spite of those 3 negative tests, I experienced symptoms that I feel are very HIV specific – oral hairy leukoplakia and tarsal tunnel syndrome (a form of neuropathy). I want to believe the 3 test results but am struggling to due to current symptoms.

What is the likelihood of me being HIV positive in spite of the above negative tests?
Could there be something about my antibodies that might mean they are only detectable by laboratory testing and aren’t detectable via rapid tests?
I know rare but could it be that i am HIV positive but have had an atypical antibody response and have therefore not produced any antibodies in response the the presence of the virus?

Any advice welcome as am trying to move on with my life and believe the tests but the ongoing symptoms make it really hard and my mental health is suffering as a result.

Thank you

1 Responses

Becky, BioSure UK Ltd
 Work on 13th September 2021

Hi Worried51, hope you are doing okay. Sorry for not getting back to you sooner. Leukoplakia and forms of neuropathy would usually be considered as long term effects of HIV/AIDS. The likelihood of you being HIV positive following 3 negative HIV results is extremely unlikely as I would expect at least one of the tests to show a faint test line. If you were to have been infected, depending on the time since your possible exposure, antibodies would be present in high amounts in your blood and therefore the test would have been able to accurately detect infection. I hope this helps, if you have any other queries, please feel free to leave them below. All the best, Becky

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