Talking about home testing for HIV

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False negative worry

I had unprotected sex with a guy (I’m female) about 8 years ago. I didn’t have have any illness or symptoms of HIV after the incident and I’ve been really healthy these last 8 years, apart from the odd cold.

My worry is that I took 2 biosure tests in September, both came out negative with the control line showing (only one line showing on both) at 15 minutes. My first worry is that one of the tests, the control line was ever so slightly lower down on the tube than in the picture where the result guide is, this line was still high up in the tube though and there were no other lines there.

My second worry is that I disposed of my results after 15 mins but I’ve read that the result can change after the 15 minutes, I’m concerned that both tests may have developed into positives without me knowing!

Another concern is that the test line could have been so faint that I couldn’t see it!

I’m also concerned that both of my tests are false negatives because I could be one of those people who don’t produce antibodies to HIV, how likely is that to happen? Also, because I did 2 tests, could this mean they are from the same batch and the batch could be faulty/ give off false results?

I’m really sorry for all the questions but I’m so worried that both of my tests were false negatives, I just cannot accept it! It’s also worth mentioning I suffer with health anxiety and OCD and often think there is something wrong with me, but I can’t help thinking what if my results are false and then I could just drop dead at any moment!

7 Responses

Becky, BioSure UK Ltd
 Work on 29th April 2021

Hi J95, Apologies for not getting back to you sooner. I hope you are well. In regards to your question about seronegativity, only a very very small percentage of people do not seroconvert meaning that they do not produce antibodies to the virus during the initial weeks following infection. Personally, I have never encountered or known of anyone who has not seroconverted following infection. I know it can be hard to accept your results and your mind is probably crowded with 'What ifs?" but sometimes it may only cause more stress and anxiety. Your negative results are reliable and accurate. Hope this helps. Kindest regards, Becky

 Used on 03rd February 2021

Please can I have a response on the below query? Thank you

 Used on 01st February 2021

Thank you for your reassurance Becky, although I am still worried that i could be Seronegative and not produce antibodies to HIV? What is the likelihood of this? Has there been any reported cases that you are aware of? Thank you 😊

Becky, BioSure UK Ltd
 Work on 01st February 2021

Hi J95, Sorry for not getting back to you sooner. Regarding the control line position, sometimes the results guide is stuck onto the tray slightly misaligned and therefore it may seem different, but as long as there is only the single line visible then your test has worked properly and your result is negative. The result visible at 15 minutes can be taken as reliable. We always say never read your result before 15 minutes or after 1 hour as the result can change however, if there is no line where the test line would be at 15 minutes then your result is negative and you can dispose of your used test. The intensity of the test line varies between user to user, depending on the time since exposure. Often when users test well outside of the window period (years after an exposure), if they were to be HIV positive, high levels of antibodies would be present in their blood and therefore the test line would be very visible as the test line detects antibodies. In regards to false negatives, at 12 weeks it has been proven that 99.9% of people will have produced enough antibodies for the BioSURE HIV Self Test to be able to accurately detect infection. False negative results occur most often when users test inside of the window period or are on PEP or PrEP. 2 negative results well outside of the window period is extremely reliable and conclusive. The fact that your possible exposure was around 8 years ago, if you were to have been infected with HIV, it is very likely that you would be very run down and unwell. I hope this helps, if you have any other questions please feel free to leave them below. Kindest regards, Becky

country bumpkin
 None on 29th January 2021

Your 2 tests sound good to me and it is many years since the risks you talk about. So IMHO you are surely well as far as HIV goes. Sorry about your feelings of anxiety - I know from my experience that is horrible. Maybe you can look for help with that? CBD medicines help a lot of people and you can get them without a prescription. Good luck and try and forget all about HIV.

 Used on 29th January 2021

Please can someone from Biosure respond? Feeling really anxious at the moment and not coping at all well. Thank you

 Used on 22nd January 2021

Hi J95, I also have the same worry that the test line might have appeared without a control line and I mistakenly interpreted the result as negative. @BioSure how likely is that to happen?

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