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weakly reactive rapid test

Oct 8, 2008

Dr Bob, Sorry for the confusion. So I had 2 possible exposures latest 1 month ago and previously >6months ago. so After the second exposure I had mild symptoms (fever, sore throat and maybe rash & diarrhea). So I took DNA PCR 1 day after the onset of symptoms but Labcorp took 15 days to report the results. In the mean time I took a rapid test (statpak) which was positive twice with a weak line. This was on day 21 after second exposure. Take took blood sample for WB which came back negative a week later. In the mean time DNA PCR done on day 11 also came back negative. I had another rapid test yesterday (1 month) Oraquick this time, which was also positive. The counselor told me since I tested + on 2 different tests its highly likely that I am positive but sero-converting. I did use a condom but I had folliculitis just below my genitals or another route of transmission may be fingering since I had taken all these rapid test previously due to anxiety.

Is there any way I might still be negative? I am lost here. Thank you for your help

Response from Dr. Frascino


Your timeline is still very confusing . . . . "DNA PCR 1 day after . . . ," "DNA PCR done on day 11 . . . ," etc.

Here's the bottom line. A positive rapid test followed by a negative Western Blot is considered a negative HIV test! DNA PCR qualitative tests are not routinely recommended for HIV screening; however, your undetectable DNA PCR test corroborates your negative status. (It would be detectable if you were seroconverting.) I strongly doubt you are HIV positive or seroconverting. Most likely, your weakly reactive rapid tests are false positives due to some type of nonspecific cross-reacting antibody. Because you have been given conflicting information and I cannot sort out all the details of your sexual exposure and testing history, I would advise you see an HIV specialist. He will reliably and expeditiously determine your HIV status. From the fragmented details provided, I would strongly anticipate you are HIV negative. If that is confirmed, as I anticipate will be the case, be sure to return to the "counselor" who told you it was "highly likely" you were positive and in the process of seroconverting! Also write back and let us know what the final outcome is.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

Your Experience With Rapid Tests (scientifical)
I've got flying monkeys and I'm not afraid to use them.

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