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HIV and AIDS

When Is The Time To Do a Follow Up Testing For HIV?

01/29/2001

Question:

Sometimes my hands get a little beat up from my job. I occasionally get small cuts. What risk is there in touching a womens vagina? I was told that testing should be done at three months, but i`ve also been told by my doctor that 1 month is good enough. I have also read that 25 days is the average time span for the antibodies to show up. Is that true or false? Is there any data in regards to what percentage of people would show the antibodies at 1 month, at 2 months and at 3?

Answer:

Getting HIV infection by touching a woman`s vagina would be very unlikely. However it would be unusual for this to be the only sexual activity between two people. The risk of HIV transmission from a woman to a man is greatest when the penis is in contact with vaginal secretions of a woman with HIV. The use of a condom reduces this risk substantially. Most people who acquire HIV infection develop the antibody within three months. Many have developed the antibody by 6 weeks. After a risky exposure, testing is often done right away to see if the person already has HIV. Follow up testing is usually done at three months and six months. Of course, if the person becomes ill, he should see his doctor, and be sure to tell about the risk for HIV. see the attached WEB link.

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HIV and Its Transmission

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Response by:

Peter T Frame, MD Peter T Frame, MD
Emeritus Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati