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Is there any way to confirm the HIV status before the window period?

Q: One of my family members is overseas. There he had a hair cut and led to bleeding accidently. Later he realised that the barber never changed the blade. Also that area had many homosexuals dwelling there. The doctor advised him to check for AIDS after 3 months. Is it a matter to concern? Is there any way to confirm it soon?

A:The chances of HIV transmission in the manner described are very low though I must admit that there is a small element of risk. The usual tests done for HIV infection are the ELISA and similar tests based on the same principle.

These tests only become positive after the 'window period' even after infection. Therefore the advice to get tested after 3 months is correct. However there are now many tests that give a reliable result much sooner. These latter types of tests are now available in many if not most large cities. If you want an early diagnosis of the presence or absence of infection please go to the nearest HIV/AIDS centre for treatment and ask for the new generation tests.

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