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Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 18437
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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Dear Doctor, how long do HIV antibodies stay in the body for,

Resolved Question:

Dear Doctor, how long do HIV antibodies stay in the body for, such that they would be detected by the 4th generation test for HIV I/II antibodies? For example would the test pick up HIV infection acquired say 3 years before the test.
Many thanks.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 2 years ago.
Hello from JustAnswer.

The antibodies to HIV will persist for the rest of your life. In reality, since this disease has only been recognized since the 80s, we have only been tracking people for this period of time, but the antibodies have persisted for this long, so will presumably persist for life.

Of course, this is a common function of the immune system. There are many infections that are commonly contracted as a child, such as chickenpox, and then antibodies to the virus will persist for life.

The HIV antibody test will certainly detect an infection that was contracted three years ago.

If I can provide any further information, please let me know.
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