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Testing and first diagnosis

"New here.
I am here for support. Both for me and for others.
I am extremely worried and stressed that I might’ve caught hiv.
I had sex with someone new back in December. Used protection but at the end condom slipped off.
I got 4th gen. test a month later and I was negative. 2 months after the test (3 mo after exposure) I started having painful/swollen lymph nodes under the jaw.
They lasted for a week (left side) and they are back on both sides after a month.
No other noticeable symptoms.

I read not to trust 4th gen. test if exposure is less than 6 months.
I am afraid to get tested again for the fear of poz news.
Please help. "

  1. I am so glad you reached out because I can tell by your writing you are extremely worried and stressed. While we cannot provide medical advice, we can provide you with some information I hope will be helpful.

    I think you may be referring to what is called a 'window period' before which some tests are not considered conclusive. THIV tests taken 6 months after a potential exposure are 99.9 percent accurate. This is an article that outlines different types of tests and their window periods - .

    Now before we give you any information on testing, I want to better understand what you meant about fear of poz news. There are many barriers concerning stigma and HIV, and I hope we can help you as you navigate them. Can you tell us more about what you meant by being afraid to be tested again?

    Let us know how you are doing and what else we might be able to help you with. - Liz (Team Member)

    1. thank you for info, I checked it out, and it’s clear I need to do another test.
      What I mean by fear of poz news, I am afraid I would be suicidal. I already battle with depression, and some of my reckless acts are coping mechanisms that I always regret after the fact.
      This was very hard to share, with a lot of tears.
      Prayers up 🙏🏽

      1. Alafia (Peace) I totally understand the fear you are experiencing regarding getting tested again. Especially since you have been having swollen lymph modes. I want to echo what shared with you. But I do want to say that I have been living with HIV for 33 years and if I had not gotten tested I would not still be living. Knowing your status is Power. Khafre ( Team Member)

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