HIV Window Period

What is the HIV window period?

The HIV window period is the time between when a person is first infected with HIV and when a test can accurately detect the virus in their blood. For most people, this period is about three months.

What is the window period for the HIV test I took?

Antibody Test

The window period can vary depending on the individual and the specific test being used. However, it is generally accepted that the window period for most HIV antibody tests is between 3 and 12 weeks.

Rapid Antigen/Antibody Test

Rapid antigen/antibody tests performed on blood from a finger stick can often detect HIV infection 18 to 90 days after exposure.

Antigen/Antibody Lab Test

An antigen or antibody lab test using blood from a vein can usually detect HIV infection within 18 to 45 days of exposure.

Nucleic Acid Test (NAT)

An HIV nucleic acid test (NAT) can usually detect the virus 10 to 33 days after exposure.