Oct 29, 2005
Dear Dr Bob:
I had an HIV test about a month ago. My doctor informed me that... "one band of the test came back inderminate for HIV."I was told that I need to be retested after 3 months, and six months. I dont know which HIV test was done. I consider myself at low/no risk for HIV. My husband has since gotten tested. He got negative results after about 30 minutes.I have read some of your responses to this problem, and i seem to meet the criteria for "parity" I gave birth 6 months ago. My previous HIV tests had always been negative ( I tested periodically just because Im a bit neurotic). I am extremely worried. I have been breast feeding my baby and scared that if positive, I may be infecting him. Complicating matters even more is that I seem to be having a persistent yeast infection(I was dx by my doctor and prescribed tx), but I also experienced this problem a few years ago i.e. chronic yeast infection, yet never had indeterminate HIV test results before.I have already gotten re-tested and awaiting the result(was unable to wait 3 months). Dr Bob, will I always have indeterminate test results in the future even if I dont have HIV? Sorry if my letter sounds jumbled, its due to my state of mind right now. Dr bob, please, please, please, answer. Thank You.
Response from Dr. Frascino
If the only option your doctor is recommending is to retest at three and six months, I would suggest you contact an HIV specialist who can help you sort this matter out much more quickly. From what you have told me
1. multiple negative HIV tests in the past
2. "low/no risk"
3. "parity" (childbirth six months ago)
4. recent antibody test showing "one band of the test came back indeterminate"
I would strongly anticipate you are HIV negative and that your single indeterminate band was indeed a cross-reacting antibody. An HIV DNA PCR could be helpful in situations such as these when the serological tests are indeterminate. The HIV DNA PCR test does not utilize anti-HIV antibodies; consequently, your result would not be affected by cross-reacting antibodies induced by parity. The HIV specialist will advise you regarding any further need for HIV testing follow-up once your serostatus has been definitively determined. I see no reason to worry or to stop breastfeeding at this time.
I'm very confident your HIV serostatus (presumably negative) can and will be conclusively determined in the very near future with an appropriate evaluation and the expertise of an HIV specialist to interpret your test results.
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