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weird test result pls help!

Apr 9, 2005

Hi Dr Bob,

Sorry to disturb you but i am puzzled over something that went on during my hiv test and its troubling me.

I am from Singapore and I took an anonymous rapid test done by the aids organization there. The test used was the Abbott Determine Rapid HIV Test. I went for the test at 9.5 weeks past my exposure, (which was oral sex, heavy petting and such). To my horror, the test came back invalid ( or is it indeterminate?) I.e. the control line on the test strip was missing and the strip was juz stained light red. The counsellor told me that there was something wrong with the test and then proceeded to do another test for me immediately. To my relief, it was negative and he assured me that i was fine.

But there are many doubts in my mind now..Could it be the test strip reacted this way because I was still in the process of seroconverting? I took a same test 6.5 wks later (i.e.16 wks after) and it was negative as well.

I think the main thing bothering me did i get that "invalid/indterminate" result because i was slightly hiv positive? What should i do about it now? I also was diagnosed with NGU/NSU (Non-specific Urethritis) after all the hiv testing so would that skewer the results in anyway?

So sorry for the long email but many many thanks from a worried guy...

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Worried Guy,

Let me quickly put your concerns to rest.

1. You are HIV negative.

2. NGU/NSU will not affect HIV test results.

There are many reasons for an indeterminate HIV test result. I discussed this many times in this forum and consequently will refer you to the archives for details. It is possible your test was "invalid" if there was something wrong with the test kit or the way the test was conducted. What's important to realize is that either way your repeat test and subsequent 16-week test were both unquestionably negative. These results are definitive and conclusive. You are HIV negative.

NGU/NSU is relatively easy to get form oral sex (HIV is not) and can be effectively treated with antibiotics.

No further HIV testing is warranted. Instead, I would suggest you yell WOO-HOO and celebrate!

Stay safe. Stay well.

Dr. Bob


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