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Positive Elisa/ Negative Western Blot
Sep 5, 2009

I have read other reader's responses and mine is different so I wanted to ask. I am 21 and I am 12 weeks pregnant as of today. My doctor told me that I tested positive (1.04) on the ELISA test and negative on the Western Blot. I strayed away from my boyfriend twice with the same guy on June 8th and June 27th, and that has been the only times. Could I still be in the window period and the virus still forming? Today is Sept. 3rd and I figured if it was going to show up, surely it would have already? My doctor assured me not to worry that he believes it is a false positive test, I'm just concerned about the window period. Thank You for you insight.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

A positive ELISA plus a negative Western Blot is considered a negative HIV-screening test.

The "window period" is generally described as the first three months following an exposure. If your last potential exposure was June 27, your HIV window period would extend to September 27. That said, I should also point out that the vast majority of HIV-infected folks will have detectable levels of anti-HIV antibodies in their blood within four to six weeks after HIV primary infection. Your negative HIV-antibody test at nine weeks is extremely encouraging, although not yet conclusive. It's also worth noting that pregnancy can cause nonspecific cross-reacting proteins to develop, which can cause false-positive HIV-antibody tests.

At this point the majority of information presented would suggest you are not infected with HIV. I would advise:

1. HIV-antibody testing at the three-month mark (end of September). If negative, you're negative and no further HIV testing is warranted.

2. If you test HIV-antibody positive, I would suggest you be evaluated for a possible false-positive result (as a consequence of your pregnancy).

You can read more about HIV tests, false positives, pregnancy and related issues in the archives of this forum.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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