False negatives 4 years after risky exposure.
Hi. About 4 years ago, I had a one nightstand with a woman. This was unprotected. I later found out that she (years later) had worked as an escort. I recently seem to have oral thrush, sore throat, feeling dizzy, worried as hell. I have taken 2 biosuretests, 4 years after exposure, both negative. Given that I am an otherwise healthy male of 46, I suspect hiv and have been worried ever since. I am crippled with anxiety. Supposedly oral thrush almost certain sign of HIV. My current partner has had sore throat, cough, feeling tired and I am feeling ill and scared at thought I have passed it on. My point is, notwithstanding I am one of those rare cases where I don’t produce antibodies (which is possible) what are the chances of 2 false negatives? Could 2 tests be faulty or not pick antibodies up? Should I use a different brand self test to be sure? Or will a 4th gen rapid test at GUM clinic pick up chronic HIV more accurately? Please help.
Becky Smith, BioSURE UK LTD
Work on 01st June 2020
In addition to looking for the antibodies to HIV like our test, 4th generation tests often look for the p24 antigen which gives the tests a shorter window period, but given that your possible exposure was so long ago I do not believe that the accuracy would differ much from our test to a 4th gen.
Our test detects IgG antibodies to HIV1 and HIV2 so if you were to be exposed to HIV2, the infection would have been detected.
Due to the clinics being closed at the moment, I am unsure of what else to recommend except from self testing. The accuracy of a 4th generation and our test (2nd generation) are very similar but self testing is not for everyone and if you are particularly anxious about testing yourself I would perhaps try and wait for the clinics to reopen, which by the looks of things shouldn't be too long of a wait. Just ensure that you are following the government guidelines etc.
Sorry that I cannot be of much more help, I would recommend that if it does help to put your mind at rest, to get a test done with a healthcare professional but of course we understand that the wait can be stressful and anxious. I am here if you need support or someone to talk to.
Used on 29th May 2020
Hi Becky. Thanks for getting back to me and confirming. As much as I try, I can't seem to accept the results. I just feel as it may be false negatives due to the way I am feeling. I will need to go to GUM clinic for 4th gen test, but all closed at moment and they are recommending self testing! I am going mad with worry. Could you clarify, with the 4th gen rapid test, would it be more accurate for chronic hiv, or does it look for different things to detect earlier? I suppose what I am asking will it be, in all probabity, more accurate? How is it different? Also does your test look for hiv1 and hiv2? Scared I may have been exposed to hiv2.
Manny thanks for help and advice.
Becky Smith, BioSURE UK LTD
Work on 29th May 2020
Since your possible exposure was around 4 years ago, any result after 12 weeks post exposure would be conclusive and therefore your negative results after this period of 4 years would definitely be conclusive.
If you did happen to be exposed to HIV all those years ago, you would have experienced symptoms around that time so I would say that the oral thrush and other symptoms are most likely to be related to something else entirely. I would recommend that if these persist, to get in contact with your GP to discuss these further.
In relation to both tests being faulty, I would say that given the period between your possible exposure and testing, if you were HIV positive, the test line would be extremely strong and very visible. Additionally, the BioSURE self test has a built in sample control line which essentially means that if your test was faulty or invalid, this line would not appear and be very clear that your test had failed to work.
If it may help to put your mind at rest, you may get a 4th generation test done at your local doctors but please be assured that your negative results using our test would have been conclusive.
I hope this information helps, if you have any other questions please feel free to leave them below.