Jul 2, 2008
Hi Dr. Bob, I emailed you a few months ago regarding hiv and lymes disease. I was diagnosed with Lymes, but questioned it because of a lack of classic clinical findings. I read hiv can cause lymes tests to be positive.....that completely freaked me out... so I had 2 rapid hiv tests, one was an ora-quick test which came back negative. Then I had a rapid hiv blood test, the clearview, and it too came back negative. I haven't had any recent exposure in 5 years, since first dating my husband. I am looking to have a family soon. Is there any chance of the regular blood (non-rapid) hiv test coming back different when I have my pregnancy blood-test done? It is mandatory that all pregnant women have the test. I know I've already had two negative results without recent exposure...is there any accuracy difference between rapid and the regular (wait and freak-out) elisa tests? I really want to put this behind me and move on! Thanks so much......
Response from Dr. Frascino
The information and reassurance you request is already waiting for you in the archives (have a look!), so I'll be brief. Negative FDA-approved rapid tests taken outside the window period (first three months following HIV infection) are definitive and conclusive true negatives. There is no significant difference in accuracy between these true negative tests and those of the "wait-and-freak-out ELISA tests." You have had two negative rapid HIV tests without any history of HIV exposure for five years. Continuing to worry about HIV despite this overwhelming and definitive evidence that you do not have the disease is unwarranted an irrational. Your anxiety about getting HIV screening as part of your pregnancy-related blood work is consequently also unwarranted and irrational. If indeed you cannot "put this behind (you) and move on," you should consider seeking psychological counseling.
Good luck with the baby-making plans.
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