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How our test works and window period explained
When your body detects something harmful (like a bacteria or a virus) your immune system starts to produce antibodies to try and defend your body. Each type of antibody is unique and everybody makes them at different rates.
The BioSURE HIV Self Test uses technology very similar to a pregnancy test, but it detects the specific antibodies to HIV (not actual HIV)
The time from when HIV infection occurs to when a test can correctly give a positive result is called the ‘window period’. During this period, someone who has been infected with HIV could still get a negative HIV test result because they may not have produced the antibodies needed to generate a positive result. This does not mean the person testing is negative.
4 weeks after exposure about half of people have made the antibodies, by 6 weeks after exposure this goes up to about 95%, however some people don't make these antibodies until up to 12 weeks after infection. This is why it is so important not to rely on a negative test result until 3 months after your most recent possible exposure.
If you think you may have been exposed to HIV within the last 4 weeks you should go to see your local healthcare professional who may be able to send a sample of your blood for a laboratory test.
If you think you may have been exposed to HIV within the last 72 hours you can go to your local sexual health clinic who should be able to prescribe PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) which is a course of anti-retroviral tablets that can stop the HIV infection
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