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DIABETIC, "MARGINAL" TEST HIV+, PLEASE HELP
Mar 31, 2003

dear doctor,

my boyfriend tested "marginally" positive on HIV. he has had 15 days of fever with mild rise in temperature, 37,5oC rising in afternoons.

he is a diabetic on insulin shots, and has taken 3 x 500 mg of Azytromicinum (local name Sumamed) for the suspected start-up but not even confirmed stage of pneumonia as a prevention. it is considered the strongest antibiotic loacally available in Croatia at this time.

since HIV test is not 100 fully confirmed, there are now further tests done to confirm it.

please tell me, is it possible that, due to his diabetes or medics taken, his test results are falsely positive in primary test phase?

moreover, I was tested and am HIV NEG (HIV 1 and 2) on the same date of testing and have had NO safe sex together recently nor for 7 years that we have lived together.

Is it a miracle that the results NEGATIVE in the new tests, or, maybe, the primary tests are indeed the truth to be faced with??

Please help. We are confused and VERY SCARED....

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Croatia,

Im glad that further testing is underway to sort all this out. Im not sure what a "marginally" positive HIV test is. Either you have it or you dont. Antibiotics and/or diabetes will not affect HIV test results. However, "false" positive HIV tests are always a possibility. Many countries use ELISA tests as a first screening test. It is a very sensitive test. At times, it can read out as "positive," when someone really isnt HIV-infected. Thats why all positive tests on this very sensitive assay should be confirmed with a different testing technique usually a Western Blot. If both tests are positive, then the diagnosis is confirmed. If the ELISA is positive and the Western Blot, negative, then the first test is considered a "false positive" and the person is not infected. Sorry if this sounds confusing. Basically, it is indeed possible that your boyfriend may have a false positive test reading out as "marginally" positive. The more sophisticated (specific) tests will give you the definitive answer. To be on the safe side, you should use condoms when having sex with him, at least until you are both certain his tests are confirmed negative (and if you both decide to remain monogamous). Alternatively, just use condoms all the time to avoid any worry.

We are all hoping that the marginal test turns out to be a false positive. Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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