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Western blot after Rapid Negative Result
Aug 14, 2008

I had an oral rapid test done yesterday and it was NEGATIVE. The counselor told me not to do anything else, but I had a doctor's appointment, and he tested me again using WESTERN BLOT...I am so worried now that I have something. I am waaaaay beyond the window period (over a year in fact), but I'm still scared as to why he would order the test when I was just tested yesterday. Could I have had a false negative?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Why would your doctor order a Western Blot test if you had just had a negative oral rapid test the day before??? There really is only one reason: he screwed up! There was absolutely no reason for him to order that Western Blot! None! Zero! Nulla! Nada! In fact, it's strongly recommended that Western Blots never be ordered without first having a repeatedly positive screening HIV-antibody test (ELISA, EIA, rapid test), because Western Blots are the more "specific" tests and therefore pick-up a number of "false positives".

"False-negatives" are not a problem with rapid HIV tests. Rather, like all HIV-antibody screening tests (ELISA, etc.), false-positives sometimes occur, because these tests are very "sensitive."

Should you worry? No, absolutely not. Should you consider getting a more competent physician? Yep! I certainly would!

Relax and yell WOO-HOO! OK?

Be well.

Dr. Bob



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