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Two Positive ELISAs, 1 Indeterminate WB - Partner Use a Condom Now?

Jan 20, 2007

Hello Dr. Frascino,

While trying to get proegnant, my 1st HIV ELISA test came up positive with no Western blot bands the 1st time, and then the ELISA test was positive again the 2nd time with one very indeterminant p51 band in the Western Blot.

My fiance tested negative - we have been together four years and I have had no other partners during that time.

I may have had Lyme disease six months ago due to a bite with bull's eye - I got very sick and went on antibiotics immediately for one month - doxyclycline and levaquin. Could that have made my ELISAs positive? Are ELISA tests for HIV and Lyme similar? My doctor's aren't sure because they don't work in the labs, but said lyme could imitate or cause cross reaction - have you ever seen this?

I am so distressed about this, and none of my doctors yet can give me an answer except that I need to test for HIV once a month for six months and use a condom. That means delaying pregnancy as well.

I am deeply distressed by all this and am worried about my fiance - can he catch this from me? I am also heartbroken about not beeing able to have a family.

If you have any advice or refer me somewhere to get answers I would so appreciate it.

Thank you.


Dr. Bob,

Sorry about emailing you two times in one day, but here is some news I just received for anyone with confusing and distressing results like mine. I contacted an MD who is an infectious blood researcher I went to college with. I sent her the results from my positive ELISAs and indeterminate WBs (This may help some of your readers with others with similar circumstances to mine, i.e., the lyme disease I had last summer):

She sent me this:

There are other conditions that may inaccurately produce a positive ELISA test result, including lupus, Lyme disease, and syphilis.

Babesiosis is a tick-borne malarialike illness caused by species of the intraerythrocytic protozoan Babesia. Humans are opportunistic hosts for Babesia when bitten by nymph or adult ticks. In the United States, the first case was reported from Nantucket, Massachusetts in 1969. In the US: Babesiosis is frequent in endemic areas of the northeastern and northwestern United States, particularly Long Island, New York, and Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. Babesiosis elicits a B-lymphocyte response and a T-lymphocyte response. As with malaria, a T-cellmediated cellular immunity is the primary immune response, and a secondary reactive polyclonal hypergammaglobulinemia occurs because of excessive B-lymphocyte reactivity. Nonspecific reactions, hypergammaglobulinemia, or the presence of antibodies directed to other infectious agents that may be antigenically similar to HIV can produce false positive HIV ELISA results.

New research on WB band p51 may indicate Erlichia (tick disease)

This may help people like me who have had lyme with results that look like HIV.


Response from Dr. Frascino

You're trying to get "proegnant???"

Thanks for your question and for forwarding the information about your question that you received from your college buddy. In addition, I would add that cross-reacting nonspecific antibodies as seen in collagen-vascular diseases, autoimmune diseases, lymphoma, liver disease, injection drug use, multiple sclerosis, parity or recent immunization can sometimes also cause indeterminate Western Blot results as well.

Another way to help sort out disputed or indeterminate serological tests is to get a DNA PCR assay.

Be well.

Dr. Bob

WOO-HOO and a big ol' thanks
Tuberculosis and HIV

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