How long after a possible exposure should I be tested for HIV?
The time it takes for a person who has been infected with HIV to seroconvert (test positive) for HIV antibodies is commonly called the “Window Period.”
The California Office of AIDS, published in 1998, says about the window period: “When a person is infected with the HIV virus, statistics show that 95-97% (perhaps higher) of all infected individuals develop antibodies within 12 weeks (3-months).”
The National CDC has said that in some rare cases, it may take up to six months for one to seroconvert (test positive). At this point the results would be 99.9% accurate.
* What does this mean for you?
The three-month window period is normal for approximately 95% of the population. If you feel any anxiety about relying on the 3-month result, by all means you should have another test at 6 months.