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Strange test results
Oct 16, 2006

Dr. Bob, This is my second time asking in three days so needless to say I really want your expert opinion. Ill make my question much shorter this time. I had protected sex (condom did not fail) several times and also gave her oral sex twice while I had a canker sore in my mouth. I completed two OraQuick Advance rapid tests at 12 and 24 weeks which both came back negative. Im 38 and married and have been feeling extremely guilty about laying pipe to a 21 year old that Im sure was sexual active. My guilt and fear of infecting my wife caused me to contact the clinic a few days ago to get tested once more. A UniGold rapid test was used and the results made me and the clinic worker a little nervous. The control line was nice and pink and the test line was an extremely faded almost pink line. The worker started giving me the once-over trying to see if I was lying about my exposure risk. I assured her I was not hiding anything so two more UniGold test where done and both showed negative results. Needless to say I am still worried and the clinic worker must be as well, because she sent my blood in for an Elisa test, as well as a Western Blot. She assured me I should not worry because the last two test were negative and the line on the first test was so faded. She said she had never seen a rapid test do that, and further indicated when people have tested positive in the past the test line is the same shade as the control line.

Because of my anxiety about possibly being HIV positive I called the clinic worker again today to get a little reassurance and she told me she had two more UniGold tests do the same thing as my first the next day. She claimed to room the test was done in might be to cold. I hope a clinic worker would not lie to reassure someone.

Couple of questions: 1. Have you seen or heard of rapid tests doing this? 2. Will the Elisa and Western Blot be absolute confirmation? 3. Should I be concerned? 4. Finally, what the clinic worker blowing smoke up my A$$?

I guess my question is not very short (sorry about that) but could you please give me an answer. Im confused and a little scared. It's going to be a long 7 days!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

First off, your 12- and 24-week negative OraQuick were definitive and conclusive. Had you stopped testing there and merely accepted the results, you would not be in this predicament! That's one of the prime reasons I tell folks not to test repeatedly when there is no justifiable reason to do so. I'll step off my soapbox now and answer your questions:

1. Yes. Stop worrying. You are HIV negative.

2. In my opinion you already have definitive information that you are HIV negative. An ELISA will corroborate what we already know: you're HIV negative. The Western Blot should only be run if your ELISA is reactive (positive).

3. No, certainly not about being HIV positive.

4. I guess you'll have to wait until you fart to know for sure.

Dr. Bob



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