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Will you test negative if you are undetectable?
Nov 14, 2010

Hello,

I just recently took a rapid test and the test came back Negative which surprised me because i was just diagnosed HIV positive in August 2010. Thought that i would always test positive on antibody test. I started on Atripla on Sept. 28th my viral load was at 679,000 and by October 8th my viral load was at 1,340. I have not seen my doctor for my labs but i am guessing i am probably undetectable now. So my question is: how is it possible to test negative? could it be the test was wrong?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

It's difficult to explain exactly what's going on without knowing more about your case and actually seeing the laboratory results. You are correct in assuming that once you are HIV infected you will continue to test HIV positive, even if you take antiretroviral and your plasma HIV viral load is suppressed to undetectable levels. Most likely your rapid test was a false negative, perhaps due to a technical or clerical error. Your HIV specialist should be able to quickly sort this out for you.

Please note that a positive HIV test requires both a reactive screening test (rapid test, EIA, ELISA) and a positive confirmatory test (Western Blot).

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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