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Rare results--Help!

Feb 11, 2003

I had what was deemed a very low risk exposure if any when I possibly came in contact with someone's body fluids with my mucous membranes. I'm in the healthcare business and this happened through a combative type pt. My initial screens are as follows: All Hep. screens came back negative but my HIV test revealed a weak reactive on the Elisa but Negative on the Western Blot and this is approx. >6 weeks post exposure. I became really worried but was told you don't have HIV due to the western blot. Because I was extremely worried I requested another test from my own private physician and the HIV elisa came back negative on the Elisa screen. A few weeks later I requested another test and again the Elisa came back negative on the screen. That I believe was just at 21/2 months approx. Well at just over the 6 month period I had a physical and the results were as follows. Hep. screens negative but again I had a positive Elisa and a negative western blot! My doctor told me not to worry because the western blot is negative, but how can this be? Two pos. Elisa and 2 negative western blots?? I haven't had any exposures that I know of in the 6 month period. Am I ok becuase this is really stressful on me? My doctor tells me I'm HIV free and not to dwell on it. What's your take on this dilema?

Response from Mr. Kull

It is important that you trust your doctor's take on this situation, as the negative Western Blot does indicate that you are not infected with HIV. It's difficult to say what is causing the variations in your ELISA results; ultimately, it is important to remember that, because of the ELISA's increased sensitivity, there will be some false positives. The Western Blot is highly specific, and is used as a supplement to positive ELISA tests to confirm or rule out infection.

According to your tests, you are HIV negative.


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