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False positive then negative, confused and worried from Scandinavia Please help!

Jul 3, 2007

Dear Dr. Frascino,

This is my situation: I had a superficial cut on my hand (not bleeding, only 5 mm.) and I accidentally touched a used gynaecological instrument when I visited my gynecologist. I did not see any blood or other body fluids on my hand but I washed them right after this incident anyway. I do not have any other risk behavior. The first test I took immediately after this incident was negative (4th. gen test) then at 6 weeks the test (4th. gen.) was first weakly reactive but after confirmatory tests negative (no WB but other antibody + antigen tests).

I was very confused and nobody really explained me why this happened. I took another test (3rd. gen.) at 9 weeks and it was negative with no confirmatory tests needed.

Do I need to keep testing? What do you think of my risk, is there any? I have received very different kind of information: HIV/AIDS center here says no risk in this incident and the doctor I am seeing says She thinks there is no risk but cant be 100% sure so that is why I should keep testing. I dont know what to think. Please help!

Could Hepatitis-B vaccination cause false positives? I received my second shot a week before this weakly reactive test.

I would also like to donate but dont know how to do it from abroad. You are doing a marvelous job!

Response from Dr. Frascino


Do you need to keep testing? No, absolutely not. You are definitively and conclusively HIV negative.

Your HIV risk was nonexistent.

Hepatitis B vaccination does not cause false-positive HIV tests.

Your weakly reactive false-positive test could have been related to many factors. You can read about these in the archives. That the subsequent confirmatory tests have been consistently negative definitively proves the weakly reactive test was indeed false. It would be difficult and I see no reason to try to track down exactly why your test was weakly positive. Most likely it was human or technical error. Please note that an initial reactive HIV-antibody test with a subsequent negative confirmatory test is considered to be a negative HIV screening test! Stop worrying and start WOO-HOOing!

Donation information for The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation can be found on the foundation's Web site at From abroad you can use credit cards, PayPal, direct wire transfers, money orders, checks or cash. Thanks for your willingness to help those in desperate need.

Stay well.

Dr. Bob

Catholic Doctor won't help!

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