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Why does this keep haunting me?

May 12, 2009

Back in 2004, I posted a concern (I was "Worried Mom") because I had a positive Elisa and indeterminate WB (I'd had routine blood work for mortgage insurance). I'd been happily married since 1995 (still am!), had twins (now 8 years old), and no other exposure. I was sent to the infectious diseases clinic where they ran more tests (I remember they took about 15 vials of blood) and all came back negative. I don't remember any details other than the doctor from the infectious diseases clinic calling me and saying it was all ok. Then 2 years ago, my GP ordered an other HIV test (the whole slew of them) and all came back negative. I believe he ordered them that time because he never received a copy of my results from the infectious diseases clinic. Today I went in for a physical and my GP wants me to have an HIV test again. I don't have any risk factors and I know he is a very thorough doctor... But what happened back in 2004 really traumatized me. My question is, is it possible to have a positive Elisa come back again after all this time? My husband is worried about me taking this test again, because I am out of work right now (stressed as it is) and in 2004 when I went through this, I had to be put on ativan because I started having panic attacks. I'm starting to wonder if maybe they saw something in the various tests that they aren't sharing with me. Would they do that? Or is my doctor just being cautious? I know this sounds crazy, but you really calmed my fears last time! Please help!!

Response from Dr. Frascino


If you have absolutely no risk factors for HIV, your chances of being HIV infected are nonexistent and I see absolutely no need for repeat testing. I would advise you to simply refuse the test. You can give your doctor a copy of this question and my response if you like.

I'm also surprised the infectious disease doctor took 15 vials of blood to evaluate an indeterminate WB! That's definitely excessive. (It can be done with one; two max!)

I also hope that your doctor would not choose to retest you simply because he didn't get a copy of the results form the infectious disease specialist! That's a waste of blood, money and resources! Wouldn't it have been easier, not to mention more cost efficient, to simply call the specialists office and have a copy of the results faxed over?

I think it's time you started speaking up a bit about your healthcare. After all you are paying these guys for your medical care! If they aren't providing you the kind of care you agree with tell them. You could also consider finding a doctor who communicates better and whose practice is more in line with your needs.

You are definitively HIV negative and I see no reason to retest again unless you have a new potential risk exposure.

Be well. Stay well. HIV is not your problem, OK?

Dr. Bob

hiv friendly

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