How long does HIV take to show up?
The HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. When we ask “how long does HIV take to show up?” what we are essentially asking for is the ‘window period’ of the virus. Now the window period does not have any stringent rule of working. The window period is the time taken between the individual contracting the virus and the positive appearance of the virus in a HIV test.
If we ask how long does HIV take to show up, we cannot expect any hard and fast fixed answer mainly because of the amount of difference that exists in the way that one human being’s body functions as compared to the other. So, the chief determinant that helps answer the question how long does HIV take to show up is the immunity of the body.
Another chief determinant in finding out how long does HIV take to show up is the method of testing. Yes, the method of testing does have a significant impact on the amount of time it takes to find out that someone is infected with HIV. There are two different testing methods for HIV:
• Testing the blood or oral sample or urine for determining if the antibody produced by the body against HIV virus is present or not. This is the indirect method for determining HIV infection
• Testing the RNA in order to determine the presence of HIV virus. Thus, this is the direct method.
When the first method is followed, it can take it can take up to two to 12 weeks from the time of infection to conclusively determine whether someone is infected or not. As per medical transcripts, the average infected individual produces detectible antibodies in their system in about 25 days. So in this case, the answer to the question how long does HIV take to show up would be within three months for most people. But in some very rare case, the system might not produce enough detectible antibodies for up to six months from the time of being infected.
In case of RNA testing, because the actual virus is tested, the window period is very small. One can determine whether a person is infected or not within a span of 9-11 days. So, this method answers the question how long does HIV take to show up quite differently compared to the above method. However there are some demerits to this. For started, RNA testing is way more expensive than antibody testing. And second, it might be accessible that easily. So, most individuals end up taking the antibody test in order to discover HIV virus infection.
It must be stated that there are possibilities of mistakes while testing. So generally, the tests are repeated in order to determine accurately the status of the person. Along with this, lifestyle choices have no bearing on how soon the virus starts showing. This is a myth. Alcohol, drugs, etc have no impact on how soon the HIV virus shows up in your system.