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My P24 test result came back "reactive." What's next?

Oct 22, 2011


I recently had a late night encounter (unsafe sex) with a girlfriend who is an exotic dancer. I know, bad idea. I got a really bad flu a week later, and went to see my doctor. I asked her to run my annual STD check (laundry list of tests). Everything came back negative except the P24 test which was "reactive," causing my HIV test to be determined "false-positive." Does this test mean I have HIV? How accurate is the P24? What can cause a P24 test to be inaccurate? Could the P24 result be another health related issue other than HIV? My doctor then order an RNA HIV test which came back "negative" today. She wants to test me again in 3 weeks. I'm pretty scared right now. What are your closing thoughts? Thank you in advance for your response.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

I am not sure what p24 test this is. If it is a p24 antigen test that can be used for diagnosis of acute HIV infection and would be reactive in someone with acute infection. It does not sound like a screening HIV antibody or confirmatory western blot test was done. Retesting in 3-4 weeks would be appropriate.

Anger at physician's east Texas attitude
50 years old - what is my life expectancy?

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