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confusion with western blot test

Nov 13, 2010

Hi,I am so stressed and confused. My husband tested positive on the Elisa Test. I had the same test done and had a negative result. I have not had sexual relations with my husband for about a year. He had the western blot test done and the doctor told him he has to take another test. The western blot test results are confusing because it shows gp160 positive, gp120 positive, gp41 positive, gp66 positive, gp55 positive, gp51 positive, p31 positive, p 24 negative, p17 negative, and 36(HIV 2) negative. So this is confusing because almost all p. came positive only three came out negative. So is this negative or positive?

Response from Dr. Frascino


Your husband has both a positive ELISA and confirmatory Western Blot test. This indicates HIV infection. An additional confirmatory test to rule out the remote possibility of a technical or clerical error is always recommended. This is usually done along with more sophisticated HIV-monitoring tests, including CD4 count, CD4% and HIV plasma RNA viral load.

Regarding Western Blot test interpretation:

Negative: no bands

Positive: reactivity to gp120/160 plus either gp41 or p24

Indeterminate: presence of any band pattern that does not meet the criteria for a positive test result

If you are certain that you've had no exposure (unprotected sex) with your husband for more than six months and tested HIV-antibody negative beyond that timeframe, your HIV-negative status would be considered definitively negative. To protect your negative status, you and your husband must use latex condoms for all penetrative sex. Your husband should establish care with an HIV specialist physician. You should also inform him about this Web site. There is a wealth of useful information here to help those who are newly diagnosed HIV positive. You and your husband should both read the information in the archives chapter devoted to magnetic couples.

Good luck to you both! I'm here in case you need me, OK?

Dr. Bob

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