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Indeterminate Results after blood contact

Feb 24, 2009

Hi Dr Bob

I really like your work here for helping people who otherwise will be worried sick trying to find someone knowledgeable to talk to.. Great job.. God bless you..Will support your good work definitely.. What is the link for the donation if you dont mind. Thanks a million.

1st Can fresh dripping blood contact with the skin at the arm and feet which is not washed away until it is dried transmit HIV, STD or HTLV virus? (Don tink skin is damaged)

2nd I hv weak reactive result in ELISA & Abbott Hiv 1&2 rapid test but indeterminate WB result in 2003, 2005 and now 2009. p24 band. Based on this info, am i supposed to be worried of infection of any rare strain of virus esp the blood contact is with someone who has been to Africa continents & had sex there? (I found out later)

3rd When ELISA testing for HIV 1&2 is reactive a wb is done to confirm it but I don kw if the indeterminate wb result given is refering to both Hiv 1&2 or jus Hiv 1? To me it make no sense if the lab only do Hiv 1 WB when the ELISA is +ve for either HIV 1 or 2. Am I right that WB is the same for HIV1&2? Or are they separate WB for different type?

So if my WB result show HIV Ab indeterminate does it means against Hiv 1&2? Or Hiv 1 only. Must I get a separate WB for Hiv 2 & Hiv 1 Gp O myself?

I hv monogamous relationship for the past 10 yrs.

worried & Confused

Response from Dr. Frascino


1. HIV cannot permeate intact skin. Consequently "fresh dripping blood" tainted with HIV, which comes in contact with intact skin and is not washed away until it is dried, is not a risk for HIV (or HTLV, STDs).

2. A weakly reactive ELISA plus an indeterminate WB in 2003, 2005 and 2009 is not worrisome for HIV infection. If you were in the process of seroconverting, which is one possible reason for indeterminate results; you would certainly have completed the seroconversion process within six years! In other words if you really were HIV infected, you definitely would have tested positive by now.

3. I have no way of determining what exact type of tests you had performed. Check with either the doctor who ordered the tests or the laboratory that ran them.

4. From what you've told me about your test results to date, I would conclude you are HIV negative. However, if you remain concerned because of your persistent indeterminate test results, a qualitative HIV DNA PCR could be considered. It is not recommended for routine HIV screening; however, it can be helpful in sorting out persistent indeterminate results.

5. Donation information for The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation can be found on the foundation's Web site at

I realize HIV test interpretation can be somewhat confusing, but in your case I see no reason for concern.

Dr. Bob

IV Drug, Condom, Pep
HIV-1 test

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