The tests commonly used to determine HIV infection look for antibodies produced by the body to fight HIV. According to the CDC, most people will develop detectable antibodies within three months after infection. In rare cases, it can take up to six months. The CDC recommends testing at 6 months after the last possible exposure (unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex or sharing injecting drug needles). It would be extremely rare to take longer than six months to develop detectable antibodies. It is important, during the six months between exposure and the six-month test, to protect yourself and others from further exposures to HIV.
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