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Viral Load/HIV positive
Mar 8, 2014

I'm gay and was HIV negative in October and got tested in December because after an encounter I did not feel right. I was told I'm HIV positive after the December test and I did a viral load test as well. My viral loan came back as less than 10/undetectable? I did another test in January and February and my viral load was still undetectable. My HIV doctor (in the field 30 years) says she cannot at this point explain why my status is undetectable from the start. She said I may be in that 1% field of undetectable cases with no medication needed. I'm healthy and I'm not having any health issues. I just did an HIV 1 RNA Ultraquant, Branch DNA test today. If that test comes back undetectable, does that mean I may not be HIV positive?

Response from Dr. Holodniy

You don't indicate what tests were performed to indicate a positive result. I assume a screening HIV antibody test and confirmatory HIV-1 western blot test were performed and were both positive. Positive antibody tests with an undetectable viral load in blood can certainly be seen in people with HIV infection, and who are not yet on treatment. Another test that can be performed is a HIV DNA test from blood cells, as that will be positive even if the viral load test in blood is not.



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