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Can I Seroconvert After Possible HIV Exposure 12 Months Ago?



I would really like your help and advice on this please. I recently on June 15, 2005 and June 30 was tested for HIV using a rapid HIV fingerprick (blood) test and a blood lab test in England Birmingham. The reason I got tested was that I am due to start a new relationship and a baby. I did have unprotected sex in massage parlours about 18 months ago (at a reall low point in my life) that has put me at risk. I have not put myself at risk since though. Thankfully I tested negative, but how confident can I be in this result because I have heard recently of seroconversion after 12 months. Is this only in special circumstances? The nurse assured me I was definitely negative, but how can this be a definite if the test can be wrong? Please help me. I would hate to be wrong and I am getting very anxious about this somebody, please help me. Thanks for your time.


The tests commonly used to detect HIV infection look for antibodies produced by your body to fight HIV. Most people will develop detectable antibodies within 3 months after infection, the average being 20 days. In rare cases, it can take 6-12 months. Seroconversion after 12 months has not been described. If you are still having a lot of anxiety about believing your negative HIV test result, you should get copies of the results of the tests you have had and go see a doctor to talk about the results.

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Response by:

Lisa A Haglund, MD Lisa A Haglund, MD
Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati