False Positive?? Please help, no where else to turn
Feb 3, 2011
Dear Dr Bob,
I need your help and dont know where else to turn... I am currently living in a country on a VISA an am scared to get professional advice as I think I am just paranoid, well I hope so anyway!
I have been with my boyfriend now (in a heterosexual relationship) for just over 3 years. 18 months ago I got the full test/screen done (as I had had unprotected sex just before meeting my bf) and my HIV test came back as "slightly positive." The health care worker that I was dealing with at the time told me it was a result he would expect to see if I had been infected within the past 3 weeks, although I had only been with my bf for the past 18 months and no risky behavior within this time. He assured me he thought it was a false positive and I had more blood taken for the Western Blot test.
This came back negative for antibody/antigens and he also said that my viral load was negative. He assured me that I was in fact negative but may produce similar results on further testing. As I had this testing done at a STD clinic in London, UK I left feeling assured I was negative and never said anything to my boyfriend as he was away at the time and I didnt want him to go through what I had just been through.
I am now living in another country and cant get these results out of my head. I have also had diarrhea in the morning and sometimes after I eat for the past 6 months. My boyfriend also has a more sensitive stomach as well as occasional diarrhea and I am scared this is a symptom of HIV in both of us. I have been to the doctor for this and had numerous tests and he tells me it is probably anxiety and stress related. I never told him about the false positive test result though and am scared I may be misdiagnosed...
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated as I am going insane and want to put this behind me once and for all!
Please, please help as I dont know where else to turn, and dont want to go through this in a foreign country if it is not warranted. Most of all I am scared I could have HIV and passed it onto my boyfriend.
Response from Dr. Frascino
There is no such thing as a "slightly positive" HIV test just as there is no such thing as being "slightly HIV infected". That you had a subsequent negative HIV-antibody/antigen test plus an undetectable HIV plasma viral load are definitive and conclusive proof that you are HIV negative. I agree your symptoms are related to anxiety, not HIV. If you cannot shake these completely unwarranted fears of being HIV infected, despite the overwhelming and irrefutable evidence to the contrary, I would advise you seek psychiatric help. You are unquestionably a "worried well" (both worried and well!).
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 TheBody.com nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.