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Rapid test results/light pink background
Aug 19, 2008

hey there Dr.Bob, I want to thank you so much for a fantastic site and all the help you provide everyone. I hope you will answer my question and maybe my situation can provide help for many others. In 2007, I was tested via numerous times for hiv. I tested at 1 month after risky sex, 2 months and 3 months post risky sex. All the results were negative. I then tested again at 11 months post risky sex, 3 times in 1 week at one testing site. all were negative. I had about 9 tests in all. All of the tests were rapid tests, except two of them and they were one standard elisa test and a Home Access test. Anyway, at one of the locations that I tested at, the NP did the Oraquick rapid test, but she did not do it exactly as she was supposed to. She did not collect the blood via the little white hoop, she collected the blood from my finger and put it directly onto the oraquick device pad and then inserted it into the developer solution. She took the device into another room and made we wait for over 20 minutes. I could hear her from my room talking about something about 2 lines or some garbled talk, I couldn't understand, So I yelled out, "is everything ok?" and she repiled, "yes, so far so good." I was in such a panic. I almost come unglued. I was having a near panic attack. Anyway, she then comes into the room, and told me the results were negative. and I was ok. I told her I wanted to see the test device. She said, ok.. So she showed it to me and everything looked fine, only 1 line at the control C area, but one thing was different, the background window of the test device was a light pink color instead of the usual white color. You could only see one line at the Control C area, it was easily visible. No ther lines were present. I asked her about the background that was pink and she said it was ok, that she had probably gotten too much blood in the test. Dr. Bob, I have never been so scared before in my life and to this day, I am still upset over this entire scenario. Is my result with the light pink background ok? The C line was easily visibile and was the only one. Dr.Bob, please help me out on this one. I know that I way overtested and should have just accepted my results and been done with this. I know all of this probably sounds crazy to someone with your level of expertise. I am just having a problem getting over this. Is there something wrong with me that could have caused the background of the oraquick device window to not fully go back to white? Was there something wrong with my blood? Right now, I feel as if I am afraid to have sex with anyone. I tested again this past June and again, I was negative. I tested at my regular testing site this time. It was negative. I found myself holding the oraquick device close up to my eyes to make sure the little Control line was perfect. Checking for any little imperfections in the Control line such as the line being perfectly straight such as the color of the control C line being consistant all the way across. I have been online looking at Oraquick devices to make sure the little line at the C is perfect. None of them really are perfect, They all appear to be a little different. Some of the Control lines are not centered in the same place on the triangle, some are high, some are low on the triangle range.. Anyway, Dr. Bob, I know all of this sounds crazy to you.. and I promise I am not some kind of crazy person.. I just like definites, certainties... Can you please help me out.. I know I am not the only person who has had questions such as these..The oraquick website only mentions a pink background that prevents the test from being read.. but my test was easy to read, it just had the pinkish background.. Please give me some other way to look at this scenario. I really need your help.. God Bless you Dr.!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

"Anyway, Dr. Bob, I know all of this sounds crazy to you . . . ." Hmmm . . . you mean things like testing innumerable times (three times in one week!!) using various methodologies (rapid tests, Home Access, standard ELISA) at multiple sites, "making sure the little control line is perfect," "checking for any little imperfections in the control line . . .," becoming "unglued" and "having near panic attacks" because you noted a "light pink background"???? Now why would you think things like that sound crazy to me??? Actually, you're absolutely correct: not only does it sound crazy; it is crazy, totally and absolutely whacko!!

It's interesting to note you don't even mention what your potential HIV risk was. But that doesn't really matter, as you have definitive proof that your are HIV negative. Your HIV fears are unwarranted. I strongly advise you to stop testing and confront your real issue: irrational fear of HIV. Your problem is psychological, not virologic. Until you realize and accept this fact, your anxiety will not abate. In fact, it will probably continue to worsen. Despite your claim, "I am not some kind of crazy person," your actions would indicate otherwise. Just take a careful read through the post you sent me and think about your actions over the past year. See what I mean? Looney Tunes, right? Recognizing you have a problem is the first step in being able to resolve it. Please don't think you're alone in having this type of problem. Just take a read through the archives and you'll find gazillions of other excessive testers panicking over their nonexistent HIV infection. If you follow their testimonials, you'll soon see that all of them (yes, all of them) eventually realize they are HIV negative and stop testing. We've evaluated many patients like you at the Frascino Medical Group and once again 100% of them have been HIV negative.

Since you like "definites," here is my advice: you definitely need to see a shrink, OK?

Good luck. Be well.

Dr. Bob



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