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Western blot
Dec 16, 2008

I recently had a HIV 1 ab western blot test, which came back intermindate only at P24. I didn't understand why that was the only test they ran. So I requested that my primary care doctor order additional tests. He ordered a HIV-1 RNA quantitation PCR, which has not come back yet and he also ordered another test, which I don't know the name for. It says: CD4 Abs CD45 2574 %CD3 78 Abs CD3 2011 %CD4 54 Abs CD4 1379 I have know idea what this means, could you please explain. Thank you very much.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

What this means is that your doctor doesn't understand how to order or evaluate HIV-screening tests. Western Blot tests are to be used for confirmation of a repeatedly positive ELISA or rapid test only. They should never ever be used as the initial screening test, due to their rate of false positives and indeterminate results.

I've discussed this multiple times in the past. Have a look at the archives to review this information.

I would suggest you consider finding a more competent doctor. The three tests he ordered for you so far were all inappropriate. What you need is a simple HIV ELISA test. If that test is repeatedly reactive (positive) only then should a confirmatory Western Blot test be performed. There is no indication for HIV plasma viral load testing (HIV RNA) or CD4 subset analysis at this time.

Dr. Bob



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