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Should viral load tests be used to confirm hiv+ status
Jul 14, 1998

My husband had a positive Elisa test, mine was indeterminate. His Western Blot was negative. I have not had one (I could only have been infected by him). How accurate are these tests and would it be a good idea to get a viral load test to confirm status in this case.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

A positive ELISA with a negative western blot, makes HIV infection unlikely, although remotely possible. You state your ELISA was "indeterminate", but you did not include your western blot result. Generally, a positive HIV ELISA, requires a positive western blot to confirm infection. A positive or negative ELISA with an indeterminate western blot could indicate early infection. I would highly recommend that both of you get repeat antibody testing. Alternatively, plasma HIV viral load testing could be performed. Viral load is generally detectable within several days to a couple of weeks after infection in virtually all patients.

MH



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