Advertisement
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


Question about test reliability
Sep 10, 2004

Dr Bob, I've seen your consistant answers about the reliability of the Elissa tests, but a question/answer from another doc didn't seem as certain.

"Please help me understand! I had a EIA test done it came back negative. Then had a PCR test done which came back showing HIV-1 rna quant by 750,000 and absolute cd4 at 222. Then the doctor had a western blot done it's results: positive gp 160/120 present p65 present p55 present p51 present gp41 present p40 present p31 absent p24 present p18 present it has been stated here at this web site that western blot should not be used unless you have a pos EIA.So Iam I HIV + ? Should I have a EIA test done again & what if it comes back negative?"

The answer was that from the data, it appears as if the person IS indeed, HIV positive.

I'm having severe problems, but have tested negative myself. What's your take on the above letter and answer? Thanks for your response.

Don

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

If those test results are accurate, I would agree the data would indicate the person is HIV positive. That would mean the EIA was a "false-negative."

False-negative results are usually due to testing in the "window period." The rate of false-negatives ranges form 0.3% in a high-prevalence population to less than 0.001% in low-prevalence populations. Causes of false-negative results include:

1. window period

2. agammaglobulinemia

3. late-stage seroreversion

4. atypical host response

5. type N or O strains or HIV-2

6. technical or clerical error

Without additional details, I cannot speculate as to which of these causes may have accounted for the original questioner's false-negative EIA.

Don, despite the very unusual situation described above, please realize that standard serological assays (EIA and WB) demonstrate remarkable sensitivity and specificity. Positive tests should be confirmed with repeat tests or with corroborating clinical and laboratory data. However, if you have tested repeatedly negative, you should look elsewhere for the cause of your "severe problems."

Hope that helps clarify things for you.

Dr. Bob



Previous
Nucleic Acid Testing -vs- P 24 antigen -vs- Antibody test's
Next
This one is NOT in the archives YET!

  
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

 Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS


 
Advertisement



Q&A TERMS OF USE

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.

Review our complete terms of use and copyright notice.

Powered by ExpertViewpoint

Advertisement