It seems to be generally accepted that 4th generation HIV duo / combo tests shorten the window period for detecting HIV infection post exposure .
Many people now believe the window periods for a conclusive result to be :
- 4TH GEN DUO: 4 weeks (or 6 weeks in some cases), i.e. 28- 42 days. This is backed up many UK private practises and even NHS GUM clinics
- 3RD GEN ANTIBODY: 12 weeks for a 3rd gen antibody test, i.e. 84 days. This window is well established worldwide
However, when researching online, most academic papers state that the development of the p24 antigen only precedes the antibody by 5-10 days.
So if the p24 antigen becomes detectable only 5-10 days prior to the antibody, how can the claim be made that the DUO TEST shortens the window period by 42-56 days (6-8 weeks)? Wouldn't it just shorten the window period by 5-10 days?