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Varying HIV test results
Sep 9, 2006

I had unprotected sex in January 06 and got an HIV test in February which came back negative. I got tested again in April using the test which uses oral mucus and that test came back reactive. I then got tested again in July (ELISA test) and it came back negative. What could be the reason for such varying results??....By the way my partner was also tested for HIV and is negative.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Your April oral swab HIV test was a false-positive. There are a variety of reasons why an HIV-antibody test could be falsely positive. You can read about these in detail in the archives.

Oral swab rapid HIV tests that show "reactive" are only considered to be preliminarily positive and need to be confirmed with an ELISA/Western Blot or ELISA/Immunofluorescent Assay (IFA) before they are considered true-positive results. I assume your April test was never confirmed positive, correct?

The bottom line is that you are HIV negative. You've dodged the HIV bullet. Now that you've had this scare, hopefully you'll never place yourself at unnecessary risk ever again.

Stay safe. Stay well.

Dr. Bob



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