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Scared to Death
Jan 3, 2009

I am so nervous Doc please tell me im okay. On Dec. 15 I decided to go to my local clinic and get tested since I am sexually active and an avid tester. Well I took the finger prick rapid test and after 20 mins my test was ready. The nurse was busy taking care of other patients so I waited another 20-30 mins or so to get my results. She told me that my test came out positive but with a weak line. I was destraught and she began to tell me the types of treatments I could get. I had to make sure so I asked her to test me again. After another 20 mins the finger prick rapid test came out negative. I know that this test is supposed to be extremely accurate but im not sure of my status. I am supposed to go back for a blood test on the 15th of January but for peace of mind need some professional help.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Scared to Death,

The nurse who advised you that your test was positive and started discussing treatment options is way out of line and apparently doesn't understand HIV rapid test protocol. Any rapid HIV test that is reactive (positive) is only considered "preliminarily positive." A preliminarily positive rapid test requires a more specific confirmatory test, such as a Western Blot, before a person is diagnosed HIV positive.

There is an excellent chance your first test was a false positive. I'm quite confident your more sophisticated blood analysis will confirm your HIV-negative status.

Remember to play safe to stay well. Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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