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can food make you test a false-negative?

Feb 7, 2007

Doc Bob,

firstly, you are incredible.

Secondly, my story: I live in Brazil and curretly date a girl who had unprotected sex with her last boyfriend. That was about 6 months ago (more than enough window period). However, we ate in Mcdonald's 3 hours before having the test, and one employee at the lab said that you cannot eat 8 hours before the test. I called my doc and she authorized the test right away (we had the ELFA test) - BOTH MINE AND MY GIRLFRIEND'S TEST CAME NEGATIVE.

Thirdly, my question: what are the possibilities that the sandwich/fat/food eaten 3 hours before the test could trigger a FALSE-NEGATIVE? Does this even have a chance of happening? Should I get tested again?

My doc said this test is our definite one, but I just wanna hear this from you, then I may woo-hoo..

Thank you so much!

Response from Dr. Frascino


I was shocked and saddened when I read your post. However, it had absolutely nothing to do with your HIV status or test results. I absolutely agree with your doctor. Your negative test results are definitive, conclusive and WOO-HOOable! HIV is not your (or your girlfriend's) problem. No way! No how! What shocked and saddened me was learning that McDonalds has invaded Brazil!!! Say it isn't so!!! Gosh, I'm very worried that all those hunky-spunky Brazilian dudes and babes on the beaches in Rio may soon be as flabby and massively obese as the American "beached whales" sun tanning poolside in Texas!

To specifically answer your questions, you do not need to fast for any HIV-related tests. Foods, even the disgustingly unhealthy super-sized junk served at the Golden Arches (Mickey D's or McDonalds) will not affect HIV test results. So don't worry about false-negative HIV tests caused by quarter-pounders with cheese, but you might want to worry about clogged arteries and Big Mac-induced heart attacks, OK?

Be well. (Stick to Caipirhinas rather than Mickey D's chocolate shakes! They may be strong but they are definitely less deadly.)

Dr. Bob

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