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Needle Stick
Dec 11, 2008

I recently was stuck with a needle at work. I was taken to the emergency room, where they did a HIV, hep b and hep c test. I was negative for hep b and c, but he said my HIV test was inconclusive, he said that a 0 is negative a 1 is inconclusive and a 2 is positive. He said I got a 1. I have been tested in the past, about 4 years ago, I was negative, and have had the same partner since and I have none of the risk factors. I am still very concerned and worried. What are the other causes of a inconclusive test? They say pregant women can test inconclusive and I am on the depo birth control shot, could that cause this test result? Or could I have have an auto-imune disease? Should I be worried?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Birth control therapies do not affect HIV test results. It is extremely unlikely you would have an autoimmune disease that you didn't know about!

There are a variety of causes for indeterminate HIV-antibody tests. You can read about these in detail in the archives of this forum. (I'll repost below an example of what is in the archives.)

If your HIV risks are essentially nonexistent, you should not be concerned about your indeterminate test result. I would recommend a repeat test to start. If you continue to test indeterminate, a qualitative DNA PCR may be helpful in sorting out your status. You'll also need follow-up HIV tests at the three- and six-month marks (from the time of the occupational needlestick exposure). Latex condoms should be used with your partner until your negative status is confirmed. You might also consider hepatitis B vaccination as a preventative measure against future accidental exposures if you work in a health care setting.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

Indeterminate Feb 9, 2005

It has been 6 months since possible exposure and I took a home access test. I received an indeterminate result. I am terrified. Do you know what tes method they use and what may be some of the reasons for this result?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Once again, the answer to your question has been waiting for you in the archives! Check it out!

Briefly, Home Access uses a double EIA with a confirmatory IFA (immunofluorescence assay). Sensitivity and specificity approach 100%. There are a variety of reasons for indeterminate test results, including:

1. tests taken during the process of seroconversion

2. cross-reacting nonspecific antibodies

3. HIV vaccine recipients

4. technical or clerical errors

The most important factor in evaluating an indeterminate test result is the risk assessment. Those at low risk with indeterminate tests are almost never infected with HIV-1 or HIV-2. Your next step is to repeat your HIV test.

Don't be terrified. An indeterminate does not automatically mean you're positive. OK?

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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