The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
Ask the Experts About

Safe Sex and HIV PreventionSafe Sex and HIV Prevention
Rollover images to visit our other forums!
Recent AnswersAsk a Question
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

Indeterminate ELISA Indeterminate Western Blot - scared

Oct 22, 2010

Hello Dr. Bob - Really appreciate the work with your website.

I am a 30 year old man.30 days before ( Sep 20 2010), I had unprotected oral sex with a female sex worker. She cleaned up my penis before oral with a towel and I am not sure if it had someone else's semen. Also, I ejaculated directly into the same towel with the towel hard-pressed against my penis. There were no other activities.

Similarly, on Oct 6, I had a similar encounter. A sex worker gave me an oral and cleaned me up with a towel before and after. Again, I am not sure if the towel was used on someone else.

I got very scared and went for a HIV test on Oct 15. The Doctor called me today and indicated that results were indeterminate - both ELISA and Western Blot.

I have been very clean all these years and I am really scared now. I am on regular medicine for asthma - Singulair, Advair, Desloratidine and levosalbutamol. Not in the recent past ( 2 - 3 months), but pretty regularly over the years I have taken anotbiotics like Norfloxacin for my stomach upset and IBS. Though I do not remember, my asthma Doctor in India had given me some antigen ( I believe so ) to help with my dust mite allergy and I was on it for an year or so till some time in 2008.

I am really scared. Please let me know what I should do and how to stay positive

Response from Dr. Frascino


Unprotected insertive oral sex carries only a very slight chance for HIV transmission/acquisition. The spunked-up cum towel would not be an HIV risk.

Regarding the test results, I don't understand the indeterminate ELISA. That test is either reactive (positive) or nonreactive (negative). There is no indeterminate ELISA result! If, and only if, the ELISA is reactive (positive), a Western Blot (WB) should be done as a confirmatory test. It can be positive, negative or indeterminate. Your asthma medication from 2-3 months ago would not alter the HIV-antibody test results. Likewise, your dust mite allergy immunotherapy (allergy shots) from 2008 would not affect the validity of your recent HIV-antibody test results.

My advice is to repeat your ELISA (and WB if the ELISA is positive) at the three-month mark (from the date of your last potential exposure). If the test is negative, you are HIV negative. If the test shows a positive ELISA and indeterminate confirmatory WB, you should get an HIV PCR DNA test. This type of test does not rely on anti-HIV antibodies, but rather assays for a piece of the virus's genetic material. It can help sort out inconclusive HIV-antibody test results. If your ELISA and WB are positive, you should see an HIV specialist physician for further evaluation.

I don't think you have to worry about "how to stay positive," because from what you've written, you are most likely "negative"!

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

6 months after exposure and PEP Treatment
Test positive...give up career??

  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

 Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS



This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.

Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.

Review our complete terms of use and copyright notice.

Powered by ExpertViewpoint