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ummm
May 23, 2006

Hello Doc,

I went and got tested two weeks ago, and I tested positive on ELISA( Twice). However, my WB came back indeterminate. My question isn't " what do these results mean", but rather how to interpret them. GP160/120 and P31 were found, and according to one website I would meet the criteria for positive. I really dont understand the contrast. Also, I really dont know why I would even have these bands, which makes me think I am positive. However, I did travel for 3 months in East Africa about 9 months ago. Before I left, I had 4 vaccination: Yellow fever, typhoid fever, Hep B( or maybe it was C), and immunoglobulin . I was also on Malaron. About a month after I was back home and working, I do remember feeling sick. My arm would ache, and I would feel very cold, and I my head hurt. Luckily, I felt much better after a about a week. I should note that I wasnt sexually active during my trip, and I didnt become active tell September. If I were infected back then I dont think I would have an indeterminate WB, so I have ruled that out. Other then that I cant even begin to imagine why I have those two bands..

When I first tested positive, I was ok. Sure I cried, but I adapted to the situation way better then what I imagined. However, getting the inderminate results put me right back where I started from, and that means I have to hear it again. you tested positive, and hearing that si the hardest part Indeterminate results really suck.

Thanks

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

I've addressed similar concerns many, many times in the past. Have a look in the archives!

I'll be brief:

1. If you have absolutely no risk factors for HIV, then you cannot have contracted HIV. It does not occur spontaneously.

2. An indeterminate Western Blot is defined as the presence of any band pattern that does not meet the criteria for positive results. A positive Western Blot shows reactivity to gp 120/160 plus either gp 41 or p24. Consequently, your results were appropriately labeled "indeterminate." Indeterminate Western Blot (WB) results account for 4% to 20% of WB assays with positive bands for HIV-1 proteins. There are a variety of causes for indeterminate results, which you can read about in the archives. The most important factor in evaluating indeterminate results is risk assessment. Folks in a no-risk (or even low-risk) category who have an indeterminate test are almost never infected with either HIV-1 or HIV-2. We recommend a repeat test in three months to provide absolute assurance you are HIV negative. Occasionally HIV-negative folks will, on repeat testing, still show indeterminate results. We don't fully understand the cause of this phenomenon, but we can, with additional studies, definitively prove HIV is not the problem!

I see no reason for you to worry. From the information you provided me, I would very strongly anticipate you are HIV negative.

Good luck on your follow-up test.

Dr. Bob



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