|Test came back Reactive
Jun 8, 2009
Dear Dr. Bob,
My boyfriend recently tested positive. He told me a month later and the next day I did a rapid test which came back negative. About 6 weeks later I went and took another rapid test which came back reactive. I gave blood which I am still waiting for results on. I felt stressed and dehydrated the day I took that test and my hands were shaking. What is the chance that my bloodwork will come back negative?
| Response from Dr. Frascino
I'm sorry to hear about your boyfriend's recent diagnosis. I'm also very disappointed if he knowingly placed you at risk for acquiring the infection.
Your reactive rapid test at six weeks is concerning; however, it is only considered a "preliminary positive" result. A confirmatory test, such as a Western Blot, is needed to determine if you are truly positive. Being stressed, dehydrated or shaky the day of your rapid test would not affect the accuracy of the results. At this point the only thing you can do is await the results of your follow-up confirmatory blood work. The results should only take a couple of days. If negative you'll need to retest at both the three- and six-month marks to definitively confirm your negative status. If you're HIV positive, you should see an HIV specialist for additional evaluation. That your boyfriend only recently tested positive does not necessarily mean he only recently became infected. It's possible he's been HIV positive for a much longer period of time. Both you and your boyfriend should peruse the wealth of information on this site, in its archives and on related links. Your boyfriend should begin with the "Just Diagnosed" chapter that can be found under the "HIV Basics" heading on The Body's homepage.
Good luck to you both. I'm here if you need me, OK?
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