FOR HOW LONG CAN HIV HIDE BEFORE DETECTION BY TESTS

Hi guys

I'm battling to understand how long after exposure the virus can be detected. I was exposed in April 2014 and did HIV tests until December 2015 and all results were negative. In 2016 I did not test because I was not exposed. In March 2017 when I was taking life insurance I tested positive. Remember, the last time I was exposed was in May 2014. I'm now on medication with a CD4 of 188. How is this possible people? Please help

4 Replies

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  • Ask your clinician.

    My understanding is that hiv can "hide" in the body for decades possibly.

  • Do you mean that you didn't have any sexual relations at all during that period.

    Usually the tests are conclusive after 6 months, your body should have had some antibodies if you were infected - that's what they test for, not the virus itself so the fact it hides is neither here nor there.

    If you shared toothbrushes or razors with someone that could (very low chance) have exposed you as could any sort of needle sharing.

    It sounds implausible but if the obvious isn't the cause then maybe something else was...

    A clinician should be able to help you timeline everything.

    I hope you are well now xxx

  • A CD4 of 188 is low .

    Once infected the CD4 drops at roughly 100 a year . The normal range for a woman is 6 - 800 ( I think , but check it for yourself ) which suggests that you have had the infection for a number of years .

    If this is the case it suggests that the original test was wrong/inaccurate .

    Medicine is not an exact science as there are many variables . I have not seen any information on the accuracy of HIV tests , but I know that the oral one is not 100% certain .

    Personally I think I was infected well before it showed up in tests .

  • Hi Jili

    you have an interesting range of comments above... I agree with some of what is said but ...

    I have been HIV+ infected since April 2006 with a +test at the end of that year and started meds in September 2008 with CD4s of <250 (they had just changed their guidelines to 350 from 250 to start Meds)... I was a normal male and <250 CD4s after just over 2 years from infection so...

    As 247sweet and Chrissuffolk agree the Virus can hide, and the tests themselves are not initially for the Virus per-se, but for the Antibody (same as the body produces antibodies for the flu)... How you may have contracted the virus is something I wouldnt lose sleep over as you now have a fact to work with and it has been long proven that the virus is not an easy catch, so to speak, as it is actually quite sensitive to its environment and doesnt survive well between hosts... I had a bad sore throat, which I thought nothing of at the time but, that was when my body first started to fight the infection and gave me an exact time, with hindsight!..

    as Griffon says 188 is now considered lower than they advise to start meds but as I said I was not much above that when I started and I have no problems since then with undetectable VL after 3 months of meds...

    I now dont even think about the reason I take the pill... yes it did affect me for a while but apart from being a bit tired prior to the meds you really can just pretty much continue with your life...

    Enjoy your life Jili

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