Daphne Joseph, a registered nurse with more than two decades experience dealing with AIDS and other STIs, discusses early detection.
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Can it be difficult to detect HIV within six months of contracting it? Daphne Joseph: That's right because you form antibodies to the virus and when they are testing for, when they draw your blood, are the antibodies and do a test called the ELISA test and that would tell her and then the HIV antibody test. So it takes that long for your body to form antibodies. The only way can find out real early is if you had the - you were exposed and you got the rash, and a fever and you happen to go to a doctor and saying, I had un-protective sex, and only the person's status, and he was quick enough to go and do a HIV test right then. They can do a viral load, and at that time, when you are going to the initial infection, you will have a high viral load. Your HIV test will still be negative. But the viral load will be high because the virus is reproducing in the body. Then after that initial one to two week period, the viral load goes down. And then HIV antibodies test develops, over, say the next six months and that's when you do the test, test it and find out if you have HIV antibodies.