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Indeterminate western blot test
Apr 11, 2009

Hi Doctor, I had a western blot test about 2 weeks ago and it came back 2 weeks later as "indeterminate with moderate reactivity to p24...". The general doctor told me that I should be prepared for a positive test result.

On the day I had the western blot test I had a fever and later I had diarrhea for about 2 weeks, I lost 5 kg. After I got the "indeterminate" wester blot result I did a rapid anti body test which only took 1 min. It came as negative. The reason I took the rapid test is because I have no idea whether or not the general doctor did a ELISA test before the western blot. So in all, I had an indeterminate western blot test 2 weeks ago and I had a negative rapid anti body test now and during the last 2 weeks I had fever and diarrhea. My question is what is the chance that I am actually negative? Would the fever related to HIV infections? Which test result is more reliable so far: the negative rapid test or the indeterminate western blot?

p.s. I had a possible exposure about 24 days before I took the rapid anti body test.

Thank you so much for your help.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Considering your potential exposure was only 24 days ago, it's too early to run HIV-antibody tests. Tests taken prior to the three-month mark are not considered to be definitive.

You are correct that Western Blot tests should not be run independent of a repeatedly reactive (positive) ELISA (EIA, rapid test). That said, it is true that p24 is one of the earlier antibodies to be detected during seroconversion.

If your doctor feels you are undergoing acute retroviral syndrome (fever, diarrhea, etc.), he could run a quantitative (PCR RNA) or qualitative (PCR DNA) test. Alternatively, you could wait for the three-month mark and then repeat your HIV-antibody test.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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