I think I need an HIV test…
We also had unprotected oral sex. Now, I am worried because I have a slightly raised temperature and I’ve had a sore throat and headache. And this fever has never seemed to have gone away for the last 4 weeks, perhaps longer now.
I’m really scared now, in case I have HIV. I know I should have used protection but in the heat of the moment, that went out of my mind. I don’t know the guy and have no way of checking with him, what his HIV status might be, or even if he’s ever been tested.
When can I have a test to put my mind at rest?
You can have an HIV test whenever you want – if you are within what’s known as the ‘window period’ – the time between infection and possible detection, it can be helpful for background information. A reliable HIV test can be taken – depending on the test available – between 6-12 weeks after possible infection.
Having said that
- the earlier tests look for antiGEN, which the body makes before it makes antibodies;
- the later tests look for antibodies as well as antigen.
By seven weeks, you should be able to obtain a reliable test result.
When you take the test, it will either state on the box/pack or your healthcare practitioner will know about their tests and reliability by time since potential exposure.
If the result is negative, a scare like this can be a ‘wake-up call’ and help you to – hopefully – avoid situations like this in the future.
If the result is positive, it is much better to be aware of it as soon as possible because you can be given treatment to keep you fitter and healthier, as soon as the doctors think it is important for you to do so, and that will can then keep you well for a much longer, happier and safer long-term prognosis.
Once your ‘viral load’ – the level of HIV in your system is not able to be detected, you are not able to pass HIV on to anyone else, either. However, for that to happen, you must take your medication as prescribed and have regular check-ups for life (at the moment).
There is no reason these days, why someone who has HIV can’t live a long, healthy, productive life – just as anybody else.
I hope this helps.