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False Positive Elisa?
Jan 17, 2009

Hi -

My husband recently had to have bloodwork done and his Elisa came back positive (repeatedly reactive is what it read) and his Western Blot came back negative. His doctor kind of blew it off and said its nothing to worry about, a false positive and they will just re-test in 3 months. My husband asked if he should be careful with me and he is also a paramedic so should he be concerned with his job and the doctor said no, nothing to worry about. My husband has not been exposed to it. I would think he wouldn't risk those things if he had even a slightest doubt but I am still very anxious and worried and I have to wait 3 months! I have read your board and noticed it seems to be pretty common to get false positives on the Elisa and that as long as the WB is negative you are fine. Should I be worried? Also - he received the flu shot 3 weeks prior. Another interesting fact is that he recently got the preferred rate on a life insurance policy and I know he was tested for HIV for that so that was obviously negative. Could it have anything to do with the flu shot? Please respond asap because I'm so so worried.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Should you or your husband be worried? No, you should not! A repeatedly reactive ELISA and negative Western Blot is considered a negative HIV-screening test. There are many reasons for a reactive ELISA. I've discussed these at length in the archives. Have a look! I have no doubt that your husband is HIV negative. He has had no HIV-exposure risks and he has recently tested HIV negative for his life insurance. Add to this his negative Western Blot and the evidence is conclusive: HIV is not his problem, OK?

Dr. Bob



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