Respecting the so-called window period

Here you can find an explanation of why we don’t do tests immediately after a sexual contact.

Each disease and each test has a “window period” that must be waited out unless you have full-blown symptoms of the disease.

We are aware that not all doctors apply this rule, but it is for your benefit  and below you can read more about this extremely important issue.

  • What is the window period?

    This is the minimum time you need to wait if you’re not showing any symptoms before doing a test to assure optimum detection.

  • Is it an invention of Open House?

    Not at all. We apply these restrictions because they have been calculated by opinion leaders in the field of sexually transmitted diseases. These recommendations are then published in Clinical Guidlines and are updated from time to time.

    They are therefore not just applicable to Open House, but to all healthcare professionals working in this field.

  • Why don't other clinics apply this window period?

    Unfortunately, many other clinics know that if they offer the possibility of being tested as early as possible, then patients will chose them. But this goes against every rule written regarding the window period. In some cases, dctors in these clinics are not up to date about this subject and may be putting your health at risk.

  • ...and so Open House sees the window period this way:

    • – It maximises the performance of tests to be able to definitively move on mentally
    • – The client doesn’t waste his/her money doing the test too early
    • – Complying with these guidelines shows that the doctor is trustworthy
  • Window periods for infections that you could be interested in:

    • Gonorrhoea: 1 week
    • Chlamydia: 2 weeks
    • Syphilis: 3 weeks
    • Hepatitis B: 4 weeks (with an antigen test)
    • HIV: 10 days (by the PCR technique), 4weeks (with a p24 antigen test plus antibodies)  or 3 months if the test is only an antibody test
    • Hepatitis C: 3 months (if the test is an antibody test) and just 14 days if it is Viral Load test.

    If you would like more information about these window periods, you can always read details in each page about each disease in our website.

    Don’t forget: if you have symptoms consistent with an infection, we don’t wait for the window period, we do the test as soon as possible (for example: if a man has pus coming out of the penis, we do tests for gonorrhoea and chlamydia straight away, we’re not going to wait two weeks and keep you suffering).

Watch the video of our medical director explaining the window period

. . . Scientific Literature

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