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Western Blot Indeterminate Result
Jan 2, 2008

Hello Dr. Frascino,

I recently got myself tested for immigration purposes. I also got immunizations because it was also required. I got the standard ELISA test which came out positive and got tested as well for a WESTERN BLOT and came out indeterminate.

I only took the test almost 2 weeks ago. My question is what are my options to once and for all find out the results.

For almost 2 years I have only been with my wife, who is negative and clean and only have had unprotected sex with 2 other ex-girlfriends before her the year before. It is the first time I got tested specifically for HIV. I also have had gammaglobulin because I suffered Encephalitis when I was younger. Given this, are these factors along with my immunization resulting in my indeterminate result?

I would like to know the odds of me being infected and more importantly, I am open to suggestions for other alternative examinations to quickly find out the results immediately.

Any assistance or information will be much appreciated. Thank you.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Your HIV risk is essentially nonexistent. Consequently your indeterminate Western Blot and positive ELISA are most likely "falsely" reactive. There are a variety of reasons for indeterminate test results. You can read about these in the archives of this forum. Certain immunizations can cause this to occur. Gammaglobulin infusions are another potential cause if given shortly before the HIV-antibody test is taken.

Your options at this point would include waiting four to six weeks and repeating your routine screening (ELISA with Western Blot confirmation if the former is positive). Alternatively you could get a DNA PCR qualitative test. This type of test does not rely on anti-HIV antibodies. Rather, it detects cell-associated proviral DNA. It can be helpful in sorting out disputed or indeterminate antibody test results.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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