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HIV-2 Initial test positive. Probabilities...
Jul 10, 2009

Hello,

I recently had an STD checkup. Apparently, it was the first time I was checked for HIV as well.

I am going off memory here, but I received complete negative on a Western blot for HIV-1. I received a positive for HIV-2, but the clinic said they are sending it for further testing. Based on some initial research, I'm thinking they only did the ELISA for HIV-2, and they will now be doing the Western blot for HIV-2.

I have to wait two weeks now for the next results.

So the question: What are the odds I'm facing here. I'm a white male with no West-African or European sexual partners (at least directly, don't know all my past partners histories). So that seems to make me less at risk since HIV-2 is uncommon in the United States. I'm not finding any easy-to-understand statistics regarding how often the initial HIV-2 test would show a false positive.

Any thoughts? Any numbers you can throw my way regarding the false-positive rate?

Thanks, Worried Guy

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Worried Guy,

If you've had essentially no potential contact with HIV-2, the chances of you being HIV-2 positive would be so remote that they become essentially nonexistent. HIV-2 remains extremely uncommon here in the U.S. I would surmise the chances of your positive HIV-2 ELISA being a false positive as excellent. I'd suggest you start practicing your WOO-HOO, OK?

Dr. Bob



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