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Aug 5, 2009

Doctor, i don't understand why you told that guy in the Aug 2 thread, that his Western Blot was likely a false negative. This means, you are assuming that he's positive (by virtue of a positive ELISA or some other test)... But if that were the case, the WB negative test would over-ride that conclusion. According to the info on this site, the WB is to be trusted, if taken after ELISA. So, either the ELISA WAS performed and WB over-rides it, or the ELISA was not performed, thus you shouldn't assume this man is positive. You can't have it both ways.

Response from Dr. Frascino


Hang on there a minute! No one is trying to have it both ways. You need to take a closer look at the facts presented in the questioner's text. (See below).

Briefly, the questioner states he was diagnosed HIV positive in 2006. This assumes he had both a positive ELISA (or equivalent) plus a confirmatory Western Blot (or equivalent). That is the formal and accepted definition of being diagnosed HIV positive. In addition he had a significantly elevated plasma viral load of 527,000. This is consistent with untreated HIV disease. Then for some unstated reason this guy has a Western Blot test a few months ago. As I stated in my initial response appended below, Western Blot tests should not be performed unless they are being used to confirm a repeatedly reactive ELISA test. This guy apparently just did an isolated Western Blot; therefore, the results are somewhat suspect. If the negative Western Blot test was indeed correct, that would mean the previous ELISA, Western Blot and HIV plasma viral load tests would have to have all been false positives. This seems highly unlikely.

It seemed clear from this poster's question that he was not currently under care. As you will note I advised him to establish ongoing care with an HIV specialist ASAP. If by some amazing quirk of fate he managed to have three separate false-positive tests in 2006, the HIV specialist will be able to explain this to him. I certainly did not want to provide false hope in this situation, as the evidence as presented strongly suggests he's HIV infected. Hope that helps clarify any confusion.

Dr. Bob

HIV viral load Aug 2, 2009

1.)When I was first diagnosed with HIV in 2006, my viral load was 527,000. Is this normal or is it on the high side? 2.)Just a few months ago, I had a western blot performed and the results were negative. What could possibly be the reason for this, or should I take my blessing and run? lol. 3.) What are the dangers of having HIV and how could it affect me with day to day living and my sex life?

Response from Dr. Frascino


1. It is never "normal" to have a detectable HIV plasma viral load, because it is not "normal" to be HIV infected. For those who are "virally enhanced" a viral load of 527,000 is high, however, counts can go up into the millions.

2. Why did you have a Western Blot test a few months ago if you were diagnosed HIV positive in 2006? Most likely the Western Blot test (if this was the only test run) was a "false negative." Western Blot tests should only be used to confirm a repeatedly positive ELISA (or other type of screening HIV-antibody test).

3. The dangers of having HIV??? Hmm . . . where have you been for the past 28 years? Untreated HIV is a progressive terminal disease caused by a retrovirus. It has prematurely snuffed out the lives of over 25,000,000 people worldwide. The virus slowly destroy the host's immune system leaving the host susceptible vulnerable to a wide range of opportunistic infections and malignancies. HIV and its associated conditions can cause a wide array of symptoms prior to death. As for your sex life, HIV is a sexually transmitted disease. I would suggest you review the wealth of information on this Web site. You obviously have lots of catching up to do. Begin with the "HIV Basics" chapters that can be easily accessed on The Body's homepage. You should also establish ongoing care with an HIV specialist physician as soon as possible.

Good luck. Get informed and get the care you need, OK?

Dr. Bob

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