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Positive ELISA, negative Western Blot

May 27, 2009

Hi. I tried donating blood in September, but rather than getting a letter back telling me my blood type, I got one saying my HIV antibody screening test came out positive, but the Western Blot came out negative. I talked to a lady who worked with the donor-thing, and they said that it could've been triggered by anything... A cold, a cold sore, if I wasn't feeling well.. Basically, she said the test was very sensitive, but that I didn't have anything to worry about.

Still, I got my blood retested this month, and the results were the same. I'm not pregnant, and I've only ever had sex with one person. Should I be worried? Apparently, I'm no longer allowed to donate blood and they suggested I see a doctor, even though they said I'm pretty much negative? It's pretty confusing...

Response from Dr. Frascino


A positive ELISA and negative confirmatory Western Blot is considered a negative HIV test. However, due to blood donation rules you will no longer be allowed to donate blood. Some of the blood donation rules don't really make sound scientific sense. For instance the rule not to allow gay men to donate!

You can read more about blood donation and HIV testing in the archives of this forum. We have chapters devoted to both of these topics.

Dr. Bob

its for you ( Update on AIDS Vaccine Research and Advocacy 2009
Hand Washing and Infection

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