Time period for HIV testing (HIV window period)

This position statement from BASHH and EAGA provides updated guidance on the time period for HIV testing (HIV window period).


BASHH/EAGA statement on HIV window period

BASHH guidelines: HIV


This guidance from the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) and the Expert Advisory Group on AIDS (EAGA) on the HIV window period:

  • is for clinicians providing HIV testing using laboratory-based fourth generation tests
  • seeks to reduce patient anxiety by reducing the time patients need to wait before testing
  • aims to standardise practice with respect to repeat testing

For the majority of patients, a single HIV test performed 4 weeks after possible exposure to HIV infection is enough to detect or exclude infection. A further test is not required unless the exposure event is assessed as high risk.

Published 21 October 2014