|Have you ever seen this situation before??
Dec 30, 2011
Hi, I'm James from Seattle. I am really confused and was wondering what advice you can provide to my situation. In July 25th 2011, I had safe sex intercourse with a "dancer". She properly put the condom on, (laytex) and we engaged in brief oral and vaginal intercourse. I even paused to check the condom and make sure it was intact before finishing. Once done, I immediately had her get off me (before she even climaxed) and the condom was intact and she removed it properly without getting any fluids on myself or her then I showered. Fast forward to October 10th 2011.I did a hiv screen and results were: positive elisa, negitive wb. Zero bands. I didn't know what this meant. I took another test on Oct. 18 and this time did a PCR which my results came back 3 months and one week since my one time encounter: my viral load was negative but again had positive elisa, negative wb with zero bands. Also tested negative for ALL stds and hiv 2. So please explain if I am not infected, which my doctor perclaims I'm indeed NEGATIVE, WHY does my elisa keep showing positve?? I only had athlete foot/jock itch since my encounter which came from the exteme weather from back in the summer which has then cleared. Does my negative viral load and western block prove definitive at 3 months and one week? This my my only encounter and I was completely safe. Is this just a false positive screening??
| Response from Dr. McGowan
Yes, this is a "false" positive screening test. This can indeed happen and is the reason that we always run the "confirmatory" Western blot (wb) test before we would call it a positive. The fact that you had no bands (which means no true antibodies against HIV) and a negative PCR (viral load test) also proves that you were not "seroconverting", which means you were not in the very early stages of the infection before the antibody test has time to turn positive. When people are seroconverting their viral load (PCR) is usually sky high. So what you have is a "cross reacting" antibody. This means that there is an antibody in your blood that binds to the protein used in the ELISA screening kit. This antibody may be related to another infection you may have had in the past, or in some cases it can occur after a recent vaccination, or in people with autoimmune disease (like lupus). It does not mean you have any illness or disease of any kind. As we start testing people of all ages (as we now recommend) we will be getting more false positive tests, the additional tests that you have had done are enough to be certain that you are really negative from this past sexual encounter.
Happy New Year!
Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS
This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.
Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither TheBody.com nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.