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HIV-1 antibody POS, NAT negative

Aug 23, 2007

I went to give blood last month. They mailed me this letter saying that HIV-1 is positive, NAT is negative and to follow up with my doc. WHAT? I am extremely low risk person and am very freaked out right now. I am moving forward with my doctor with a Western Blot test and its not back yet. Can you be truly HIV positive and NAT negative?

Response from Dr. Frascino


The NAT test is more specific than the screening anti-HIV antibody test. Consequently your "positive HIV-1" and negative NAT would suggest the HIV-1 result was a false-positive. This would go along with your "extremely low risk" history. A follow-up repeat ELISA and Western Blot, if the ELISA is reactive, should quickly confirm your negative status. You can read more about false-positive tests, particularly from blood donor screening programs, in the archives.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

Confused about Tcell counts

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