Confused about results
Aug 1, 2008
My fiance and I have been together 3 years, never used drugs, and have not had any other sexual partners but each other in our 3 year relationship. He is 31 years old and I am 26. He recently went to have a check up at his new provider , where they performed a routine examination and a blood test. He was not aware he was being tested for HIV, just thought it was a regular blood work test because it was a new dr. When he went in for the results, the dr told him that they had tested his blood for HIV and got "abnormalities" on the test, so they tested it again and it tested postive for HIV. Of course we are devastated...and confused/shocked! I immedietly went in to be tested. My test came back negative, but I was advised to be tested again in 3-6 months just in case I have been recently infected by him and am in a window area. My question is, how, after 3 years of unprotected sexual intercourse with only each other and no other risk factors in our lives, can he have HIV and I dont? It doesnt make any sense to me, as he has had zero exposure in 3 years! Should we get a second opinion or another test? I am so scared and confused...but dont want to live in a state denial. He goes back in this week to see an immunity specialest referred to him by the dr to check his viral loads. I am praying for a miracle. Any advice or knowledge would be great. *I'm sorry I think I posted this in the wrong forum originally!*
Response from Dr. Frascino
I'm sorry to hear about your fiancé's recent diagnosis. I do recommend that all HIV-positive tests be confirmed to rule out the possibility of a false-positive test result. Hopefully, the "immunity specialist" your husband was referred to is an HIV specialist. The HIV specialist will reconfirm his HIV status and if it's positive he will proceed to more sophisticated tests to check for the degree of immune system damage (CD4 count) and level of viral activity (HIV plasma viral load).
Could it be possible that he is HIV positive and you are not, even though you've been having unprotected sex for three years? Yes, it is possible. Your fiancé may have been infected prior to your relationship and never realized it. It's estimated that 25% of the over-one million HIV-positive Americans have absolutely no idea they have contracted the virus. I know it may seem improbable that you have tested negative despite having multiple unprotected exposures; however, it's important to note that not every HIV exposure leads to HIV transmission. In fact, the majority of HIV exposures do not (thankfully). Consequently, it is indeed possible you had multiple exposures, but have remained uninfected. I agree you will need repeat HIV-antibody testing at three and six months to be certain you did not contract the virus. Take a read through the archives and you'll find other testimonials of situations very similar to yours. I'll reprint an example below.
If indeed your fiancé is HIV positive, I would suggest both you and he read through the chapter in the archives of this forum devoted to magnetic couples (one positive, one negative). In addition, I would suggest you review the information in the chapter entitled "Just Diagnosed," which can be found on The Body's homepage under the Quick Links heading.
Good luck to you both. I'm here if you need me, OK?
Can it be possible? Thai expat Mar 5, 2008
Dr. Bob, I'm a European expat living in Thailand for the last 4 years. For the last 3 years I have had a girl sex partner who looked reliable and we've been practicing unprotected sex for the whole 3 years. She had gotten pregnant around two months ago and went for a routine check at the hospital. Results came back she's HIV+ Elisa. Have taken two more times ECLIA and confirmatory Western, all positive. Checked her CD4 level and came out 90!!!. So the physician said she might have got infected at least a year ago!! This girls has no symptom whatsoever, and claims to have been pregnant and aborted three times in the past. Also use hormones to gain wait and other weird stuffs (but not IVD)
During these last four years, coz of my job, I have been HIV tested 3 years. Around three weeks ago i took ECLIA test and came back negative. I also have another regular sex partner in a nearby town. Checked ECLIA and came back negative too!!!. Can all this be possible??..I will be taking ECLIA test every month...but really I AM PUZZLED.. Thanks for your time and your advice.
Response from Dr. Frascino
Hello Puzzled Expat,
Is it possible your Thai gal-pal is poz and you have remained negative despite unprotected sex for the past three years? Yes, it is possible. Not every HIV exposure results in viral transmission. In fact most do not, thankfully! However, by having unprotected sex, you have been playing sexual Russian roulette! You'll need additional HIV screening at the three-month mark (from the time of your last exposure). If still negative, you will need a supplemental test at six months before you can be definitively confirmed to be HIV negative.
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