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Do I Have a False Positive?
Jun 19, 2006

Hi Dr. I have just had a horrible experiance. About 2 weeks ago, I had a burning in my urine which had caused me to get a test for STDS (including chlamydia,gonorrhea, and hiv). I know that burning the the urine is not a symptom of hiv, but I was told that these diseases sometimes "piggy-back" on each other and one could get infected with both at the same time.

Ironically, my tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea came back negative, but the ora-quick hiv test came back positive!!!

I was scared to death getting this news. The 2 people that I had unprotected anal sex with had their tests done and were tested negative, and I have had a few instances of unprotected sex with others.

The councelor had me to do a western blot test to confirm the oraquick reactive result, and the tests came back "inconclusive". I did not know what this meant. The councelor said it just means that they couldn't use the results and I must be tested again.

For peace of mind, the counselor had me do another oraquick test with a finger prick instead of the oral swab. In 20 minutes, the results came back Negative!!! I am current doing another western blot test to confirm this.

Doctor-my question is: what are my chances that the first test was a false poz?

Can a person have a positive ora-quick test and then a negative one and still be considered positive?

I"m nervous about getting the western blot test back. I have living for 2 weeks thinking I have hiv, and how I have a ray of hope. Should I be worried about getting the wb test results back?

thanks so much-

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

First the fact: unprotected sex does place you at some degree of risk for STDs, including HIV. Therefore testing is warranted at the three-month mark, whether or not you are having symptoms.

Regarding your test results, yes, I do believe your initial OraQuick was a false positive. Positive OraQuick tests are only considered preliminarily positive and need to be confirmed with a Western Blot or IFA (immunofluorescence assay) before being considered truly positive. Negative OraQuick tests, on the other hand, are considered to be definitive without additional confirmation, assuming testing occurred after the window period, which is defined as the first three months post-exposure.

Should you be worried? No, your results to date are encouraging.

Should you use latex condoms in the future to avoid ever having to go through this again? Absofrickinlutely!

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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