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HIV Testing on Undetectable

May 18, 2013

Hi, Dr. Holodniy. Good day!

I've been on treatment (Lamivudine, Zidovudine and Efavirenz) since December 2012. Before I started treatment, my viral load is low according to my doctor (just around 9000+). So I am hopeful that I will reach undetectable viral load soon.

My question is... once I reach undetectable viral load and I undergo HIV testing again, is there a chance that the confirmatory test (Western Blot is the common confirmatory testing in my country) will turn out non-reactive/negative?

I ask this because my company might require me to go on an expatriate assignment to a country that bans entry of HIV-positive individuals. Before being granted temporary work visa, a negative HIV test result is required. I am worried that if I get tested, our human resources department will be notified of my status. Lots of people who love to gossip about others in our company, and I just want a peaceful life.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Your HIV antibody test is likely to remain positive, regardless of HIV treatment.

Interpretation of blood smear
Risk of infection.

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