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please answer this one
Oct 21, 2008

i was diagnosed with acute hiv syndrome in august of 2007. my infectious disease doctor seems to think my infection could have possibly been acute or subacute based on my viral load since acute infections tend to have higher numbers (viral load 99,000 cd4 500 at the time). but here's the kicker: my western blot was negative. about a month later i asked if we should redraw a western blot considering the circumstances. he said, nicely, that it was irrelevant since i had a viral load. i have accepted the facts and i am very positive about my outlook ( i have a lovely therapist - we all should. lol) my question would be concerning the possibility of a false negative western blot since it's considered the "gold standard" for hiv testing. i am fine now and not on meds as of yet (vl 15,000 and cd4 850). please do answer as i am very interested in your thoughts on this matter (that sounded very proper lol). thank your for your time and effort. they do mean more than you could ever know for people such as myself.

dale

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Dale,

I routinely reconfirm all positive HIV tests just to rule out the slight possibility of a technical or clerical error. In your case, if you've had multiple positive HIV plasma viral loads, I would tend to agree with your doctor that you are indeed "virally enhanced." However, for your own piece of mind and because your initial Western Blot was negative, repeating it would be reasonable. The most likely explanation for the negative Western Blot is that you were indeed recently infected and still in the process of seroconverting at the time the test was run.

Be well Dale.

Dr. Bob



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