About window period, PCR, western blot and conclusiveness
Feb 16, 2008
Hi. Mr Bob.
I am the one that made the question with title "tests says I am "-" . Could I have undetectable viral load?". I have to say I am sorry for asking something that stupid, I didn't know what was the process of standard HIV testings. Anyway, I have a couple of questions, about me and my partner:
about my partner:
His first results indicated he is positive. I called the labs and they said they tested twice before making a final judgement but the WB test wasn't done for that results. His doctor recommended a Western blot test and he already did it, he will get the results sometime next week. I am reading that false positive WB results aren't that uncommon.. would a positive (bad) result STILL be not conclusive?? what would you say is the best next step to take, after getting a + WB test? after what tests is someone absolutely and definitely HIV+ ?
I find myself in the window period. Our last risky contact was in mid January so that my negative result came about 3 weeks after possible infection. My partner's doctor suggested a PCR test for me but I am reading here that you guys sort of recommend against doing it. Would you say a standard HIV test after 6 months of the risky situation is far more conclusive than a PCR test?? I don't know what to do, I am not sure what I want to do :(.. 6 months is an eternity but positive PCR tests aren't uncommon as well, I am reading it isn't even a licensed (approved?) process... What do you recommend me?
thanks a lot for your time. Please receive a hug from both of us.
Response from Dr. Frascino
About your partner: A "positive HIV test" consists of a repeatedly reactive ELISA test followed by a confirmatory positive Western Blot (WB) or IFA test. If he has a positive ELISA and WB, I would then repeat it to confirm his positive status as well as get other baseline studies, including a CD4 count and plasma viral load.
About you: I would recommend an HIV-antibody test at three months and, if negative, a repeat test at six months. If still negative, then you have indeed dodged the HIV bullet and are conclusively HIV negative. I don't recommend PCR tests due to the rate of false-positives, technical considerations with some of the assays and cost.
Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS
This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.
Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither TheBody.com nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.