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Positve result after blood Donation
Jul 18, 2006

Dr, I have a question. My brother recently joined the US NAVY. During basic training about 4 weeks ago, he donated blood at a drive they were having. This week his CO told him to report to Medical where he was told his blood screened positive for HIV. My brother is very low risk. He has had sexual intercourse 1 time with only 1 partner (female) and used a condomn. He has never given or received oral sex. He is not an IV drug user, he doesn't even smoke! What are the chances this result is correct? Thanks! EK-a very concerned sister.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello EK a very concerned sister,

If indeed your brother had absolutely no risk for HIV, then he cannot have HIV. There are a certain number of false-positive results that occur with HIV-screening tests. You can read all about these in the archives. More sophisticated follow-up tests should clear this conundrum up quickly. It's also worth noting sometimes brothers may not always relate all their potential risk to their sisters, even very concerned ones. It's possible he may not have used the condom properly or used a lambskin condom. Both situations would lead to an HIV risk. Also, if he had experimented with unprotected gay sex, he might not mention it. There is no doubt the most likely scenario is that his initial test is a false-positive and subsequent testing will give him the all-clear! Let's hope for that! Fingers crossed! If not, I'm here if either you or he needs me, OK?

Dr. Bob



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