What Is the Longest Incubation Period on Record for HIV Antigen?

Written by genevieve hawkins
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What Is the Longest Incubation Period on Record for HIV Antigen?
It's difficult to know the longest incubation period for an HIV antigen. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Hey Paul)

HIV antigens can in rare instances incubate for months or years before turning into HIV or into the AIDS virus. Because there have been long periods between exposure and detection, it is difficult to verify what the longest incubation period on record is.

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According to Lawrence Miike in "Do insects transmit AIDS?" the longest recorded incubation period for an HIV antigen was over seven years. Blood sucking insects such as mosquitoes are not believed to be carriers of the disease.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the HIV is transmitted through and infected person's bodily fluids. Transmission is most common through sexual intercourse with an infected person and sharing of needles. The virus can also pass from an infected mother to her newborn child.

Time Frame

It can be difficult for researchers to verify when a person was exposed to HIV. According to the CDC, most people will develop detectable levels of HIV antibodies within two to eight weeks of exposure to the virus.


HIV tests either check for antibody levels that your body makes in defence of the HIV or they test for RNA of the virus directly. RNA tests can discover HIV within nine to 11 days of exposure but they are more expensive.


According to the CDC, 97 per cent of HIV cases will be detected within the first three months of exposure to the virus. You should get tested again six months after exposure to HIV to make sure that you did not have a false negative result the first time.

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