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False trigger
Aug 1, 2007

Dear Dr. Bob, I went on regular routine check and diagnose with HIV and tested to verify and came positive with Elisa and Western blot. I never had any partner other than my wife and never used any needles. During the test my wife results were negative and we donot use any condoms. I had malaria, 2 times Jaundice, Chickenpox and measels, also tool HERP last year before a overseas travel. Could this be a trigger or what test I can do to confirm this results.

Response from Dr. Frascino


The first thing I would advise is that you rule out a technical or clerical error by repeating your HIV-screening test an ELISA and, if that's positive, a confirmatory Western Blot. If your repeat ELISA and Western Blot tests are once again positive, you should get a PCR and CD4 count and see an HIV specialist.

If it is true that you've had absolutely no potential exposure to HIV, a completely monogamous relationship with your HIV-negative wife and have never shared intravenous needles or had a blood transfusion, then there is a good chance your initial HIV test was indeed a false-positive. A DNA PCR test can be helpful in sorting out disputed or indeterminate serological results.

Good luck!

Dr. Bob

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