Consecutive Indeterminate WB Results
Oct 3, 2003
In 1995 I received a letter from the Red Cross and my blood tested Positive for HIV in the ELISA and Indeterminate during the WB test. Now 8 years later I have been retested and the results are exactly the same. Should I be considered HIV Negative or Positive? What have been some reasons for indeterminate results in previous subjects? I have never been in any of the risk categories, so should I be concerned? My current doctor is going to have RNA tests performed to find out whether the virus is present or not. Is the RNA test accurate?
Response from Dr. Frascino
I would suggest a qualitative DNA PCR test to detect cell-associated proviral DNA as a definitive test in your situation of indeterminate Western Blots. Because your results have remained constant for 8 years, you are most likely not HIV-infected, particularly because you state there has been no risk. The DNA-PCR has a sensitivity of greater than 99% and a specificity of 98%. Indeterminate Western Blots can occur in 4-20% of people with positive bands for HIV-1 proteins. The causes include:
1. Acute seroconversion. Anti-P24 is usually the first antibody to appear. This would not apply to your case, as results have been the same for 8 years. 2. Cross-reacting nonspecific antibodies, as seen with collagen-vascular disease, autoimmune disease, lymphoma, liver disease, injection drug use, multiple sclerosis, parity (childbirth), or recent immunizations. 3. Infection with O strain or HIV-2. 4. HIV vaccine recipients. 5. Technical or clerical error.
The most important factor in evaluating indeterminate results is risk assessment. Folks in low-risk categories with indeterminate tests are almost never infected with HIV-1 or HIV-2. Repeat testing often continues to show indeterminacy. The viral detection (PCR) test should give you a definitive result which, based on what you have told me and your 2 tests 8 years apart, will most likely be negative.
Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS
- Probability Of Getting HIV From Genital Rubbing
- Risk Of HIV Transmission From Mutual Masturbation
- Risk Of HIV Transmission From Precum
- What Are The Chances Of Getting HIV From Giving Handjob?
- Sex With A Prostitute How Long Does It Take To Test Positive For AIDS
- Do People Get HIV From Sex With A Prostitute?
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.