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05 Feb 2003

HIV/AIDS "Window Period"
Dear CyberDoc,

I would like to ask a question because I am very concerned about a good friend of my who is gay. Some guy he met recently tried to pressurize him into having anal sex with him without using a condom. This other guy admitted that he used to be involved with someone who was HIV positive. I am assuming that he had unprotected sex with his previous partner, perhaps before finding out that he was HIV positive. The guy in question said that it was fine to have penetrative sex with him without using a condom because he had taken an AIDS test and it was negative.

I am not sure when this guy last had unprotected sex with his previous partner, but I understand it may have been about 6 to 9 months ago. I have heard about the so-called "window period" (of between a few weeks up to as long as 2 years) but I don't know if this relates to HIV being picked up in the blood, or whether it refers to contracting the AIDS virus.

My question boils down to this: If about 6 to 9 months ago someone had unprotected sex with a person who is HIV positive, and a recent AIDS test is negative, is it 100% safe for that person to have penetrative sex with others without using a condom? Or is there still a "window period" during which a blood test will show up as negative?

I would appreciate receiving your comments on this as soon as possible because I am concerned for my friend's life.

Thank you!
Answer 1,149 views
Expert
CyberDoc
CyberDoc

01 Jan 0001

Russ, it is NEVER safe to have unprotected sex with someone who has had more than just you as a sex partner. The window period is usually 3-6 months, but there is no law that says it can’t be longer. Anyway, if a person demands to have unprotected sex in this day and age, sirens should go off as it sounds like this person is in a situation where he has nothing to lose... Makes you think, doesn’t it? Good luck.
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