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How long can HIV hide from tests before it gets detected?

Dear all

I have been testing negative for HIV since April 2014 after an exposure. I did the tests until December 2015 and all tests were negative. I didn't test in 2016 because I was not exposed. However, I tested positive for HIV in 2017 when taking a life insurance. The test was a finger prick. They drew blood and told me that my CD4 is 188. I was put on treatment straight away. Is this the correct way of diagnosing HIV? Can the virus hide for this long? Please help I'm confused. I have no symptoms whatsoever but I'm taking the medication nonetheless.
2 Responses
Avatar universal
Hiv does not hide from tests. Antibody tests (4th gen) should be conclusive in 90 days post exposure. Did you have any exposures after 2014?.. the tests are conclusive after 3 months!
Avatar universal
The last time I was exposed was in 2014. I used a condom in September 2015 and tested in December 2015 and I was negative. That was the last time I was sexually active, that is September 2015 with a condom and tested negative in December 2015. I didn't test in 2016 because I was not exposed. I tested positive in March 2017 when taking a life insurance policy. I had a CD4 of 188 and was never showed any viral load results. I have no symptoms whatsoever except the nausea I get from the ARVs. I'm so confused and suicidal.
Have you had follow-up confirmatory tests? HIV is never diagnosed on the basis of a single test.  
I believe you can get false positives but not false negatives, so if I don't get corrected on that one you can relax a bit until you follow Curfew's advice for another test.
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