The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
Ask the Experts About

Safe Sex and HIV PreventionSafe Sex and HIV Prevention
Rollover images to visit our other forums!
Recent AnswersAsk a Question
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

lab test result question

May 16, 2004

Hello DR.

First off I would like to say how great you are for helping so many people with serious to crazy questions and still being polite.

Ok I got a question, I got my HIV results and they came back negaitve or non-reactive, ok my Dr. says im negative. Now I got tested due to a scare 2 years ago. now it says all this stuff about no anti bodies found for hiv 1 (htlv III) but it goes on to say "does not preclude previous exposure or infection with hiv 1" What does that mean? and why cant they rephrase that in a way that I and others can understand?

Any help would be awesome!

Thanks DR.

sincerly, Dan

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Dan,

That statement on the bottom of your lab report is there to help explain the limitations of the test. For instance, you might have had an HIV exposure last week that resulted in your becoming HIV positive. However your immune system has not yet kicked in to make enough anti-HIV antibodies to be detected on the ELISA test. Consequently, your test would read "negative," even though you are really HIV positive. The test has no way of determining when your last potential exposure was, so it says "does not preclude previous exposure or infection with HIV-1." It's meant to inform folks that there is indeed a "window period" during which the test is not accurate.

Sorry for the confusing medical jargon. You should see our secret physician's handshake!

Bottom line, Dan: If your last potential exposure was two years ago and your HIV antibody test is now negative, you are definitively HIV negative. Yell WOO-HOO!

Stay well.

Dr. Bob

blood in a sink full of water and detergent
woo or hoo or woohoo

  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

 Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS



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 nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.

Review our complete terms of use and copyright notice.

Powered by ExpertViewpoint