Many people jump to the wrong conclusions when they experience symptoms of acquiring HIV. What they don’t know is, you simply can’t detect it based on its symptoms.
You have to undergo tests and knowing your HIV window period is the best way to detect whether you have it or not.
The HIV window period refers to the time between the HIV infection and the body’s production of antibodies.
It is crucial to understand the HIV window period because during this time, antibody test which tests for the infection of HIV may give a false negative result even if a person is actually positive for HIV.
In order to avoid this, antibody tests are recommended to be taken three months after a person has had a potential exposure to HIV infection.
In some cases, persons may have a longer HIV window period, although this is quite unusual. This is why antibody tests are usually at least 4 weeks after a suspected infection, and if the results come out negative a follow-up test should be done 3 months after.
Anxiety is common after one suspect they have just been exposed to a potential HIV infection, but this is also why the HIV window period is important.
One should not rush to have their HIV window period test taken right away, because it may just give the wrong results and cause more confusion.
If you want to test whether you need to examine your own HIV window period or take a test, here are situations which you should consider:
- Have you had sexual intercourse with a person who has HIV or AIDS?
- Have you shared needles with others for drug use?
- Have you had contact with a person who has HIV or AIDS through any mucous membranes, cuts, sores, or in the eyes, mouth, anus, rectal areas?
- Have you had transmission from another person’s bodily fluids such as blood, semen, breast milk, and vaginal secretions?
5. Have you had a recent blood transfusion or encountered an accident in a health care clinic during transfusion?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you should quickly examine your HIV window period and get tested at the proper time by a certified physician.
Do not be mislead, because not all bodily fluids are capable of transmitting HIV, such as saliva, sweat, tears, feces, and urine. You don’t need to worry if you have had contact with another person’s bodily fluids of these kinds or worry about having to examine your HIV window period.
These liquids do not contain enough HIV in them to transmit the deadly virus to another person; however the bodily liquids that have the highest concentration are blood, semen, and vaginal discharge, in that order.
In order to prevent the HIV window period, one can take the following precautions:
- Protection during sexual activity, the best of which is the use of a condom
- Not sharing needles for any drug or medical use; be sure that any clinic you go to uses disposable needles
- Abstaining from sex
The HIV window period should not be taken for granted and should always be considered. Proper diagnosis and testing is crucial to early detection and treatment for anyone who may have HIV.