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False ELISA Positive?
Jan 11, 2009

Last May, I had an encounter outside my 2 1/2 year relationship. We had protected anal sex all night and then fell asleep. The next morning, I woke up to him spooning me. He inserted himself briefly (unprotected) until I quickly pulled away. He claims to not remember this. 5 weeks later, I developed walking pneumonia and started to freak out thinking it was ARS. Since then

1. Blood test at 6 weeks - Negative 2. Oraquick test at 7 weeks - negative 3. Oraquick for both me and him at 3 months (August) - negative.

I was extremely paranoid about the situation, but he assured me everything was alright and that he always used protection. He has previously been tested in early April. I thought everything was okay until I went to get tested again today. I have been fighting something horrible this week (possible sinus infection) and it spurred my internet obsession again. I started getting ideas and and went to get tested. This time, it was a POSITIVE.

I told the councilor all the details and that there was only one time it could have happened, and he said it was very rare to get it from a single time. He also pointed out that for every 10 positives he sees, about 3 or 4 are false. I called my boyfriend (we have had unprotected sex since this incident) to the clinic and he tested NEGATIVE. The guy who I was with that night will be testing tomorrow.

In my head, it doesn't make sense. Could both of our 3 month test results been wrong? What is the likelyhood this test is a FALSE POSITIVE...or do I really have HIV? I did have two episodes of oral sex late last year (and I have some dental problems from a prior eating disorder)...was this a possible risk?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Was your positive test confirmed with a Western Blot or did you only have an OraQuick test? Reactive (positive) rapid tests are only considered to be "preliminarily positive" and require confirmation with a more specific test, such as a Western Blot. If you only had an OraQuick test, the chances are excellent that your follow-up, more specific test will reveal you are HIV negative. Should your one-night-stand-wham-bam-thank-you-Sam guy test HIV negative tomorrow, the chances of your being HIV negative would significantly improve too.

My advice is to get your follow-up test before freaking out. I'm here if you need me, OK?

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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