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2 non confirming western blots
Apr 6, 2008

Hello maybe you can help my distess. I went in for an hiv test along with other tests for adoption paperwork. Long story short, I have been tested now twice with the antibody test came back positive. Both tests were followed with the western blot both could not confirm. Now I am waiting on results for a PCR test. My doctor is clueless about the results and the lab. I have been married 8 yrs w/ three kids my wife is negative. I can remember sex w/ 2 other women in 1996 that is it. If it is not hiv is it something else? Help I am scared. Any comments would at least help sleep. Thanks

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

I don't know exactly what you mean when you state "the Western Blot could not confirm." Was the Western Blot test "negative" or "indeterminate?" If the ELISA (antibody test) was positive and the confirmatory Western Blot is negative, that is considered a negative HIV test because the Western Blot is a more specific test. If the ELISA is positive and the Western Blot is "indeterminate," this is considered an indeterminate HIV test. Indeterminate HIV-1 tests can be caused by a variety of factors, including nonspecific cross-reacting antibodies, incomplete seroconversion, infection with O strain or HIV-2, HIV vaccines and technical or clerical errors. The most important factor in evaluating indeterminate results is risk assessment. Folks like you with no to low risk who have indeterminate HIV tests are almost never infected with either HIV-1 or HIV-2. In cases of indeterminate results a qualitative DNA PCR can be helpful. I'm confident your PCR test will be negative. You can read more about indeterminate HIV results in the archives.

Good luck. Don't worry. I'm certain all will turn out "well."

Dr. Bob



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