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Inconclusive ELISA, then Negative
Mar 13, 2011

OK Doctor, here is my situation... ON January 11, 2011 I got tested for HIV and other tests and HIV came back negative (the result only read negative) then I got pregnant two weeks laters and on February 7 I got my first influenza vaccine, a tetanus vaccine and a skin tuberculosis test... then on February 28th, the clinic did the prenatal care tests including HIV and the doctor told me it came nack inconclusive (he explained that it had been the standard test and that my vaccines may had altered the results and that in 1% of women they see inconclusive or even false positives) then he drew again some blood and told me that whenever a result if positive or inconcluive they run a western blood, however when I got back the results again, it showed the panel 083824 non-reactive limit <1 but I didnt see any western blood results....so I am confused..... Am I negative?... do they vaccines caused the inconclusive original test?... why didnt I see western blot results... Thank You!!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Yes, you are definitively HIV negative. Your doctor's advice was is absolutely correct and did exactly as he should have done regarding your follow-up tests.

Here's what happened. You tested HIV negative on January 11. Shortly thereafter you became pregnant and had an influenza vaccine, tetanus vaccine and TB skin test. Several weeks later your prenatal HIV test was "inconclusive." There are several reasons this may have occurred, including the production of nonspecific cross-reacting antibodies generated as a result of being pregnant or getting vaccinated. These nonspecific cross-reacting antibodies could cause an indeterminate/inconclusive (or even false positive) HIV-antibody screening test. To sort this out, your doctor ordered a repeat HIV-antibody test and advised you that if the follow-up test was "inconclusive or positive," a more sensitive confirmatory test, the Western Blot, would be done. Your repeat test, however, was nonreactive (negative). Consequently there was no reason to proceed on with the Western Blot (WB) test. WB tests are only done to confirm positive (or sometimes "inconclusive") screening HIV-antibody tests. Yours was negative. You can read much more about this in the archives of this forum where you will find chapters on HIV testing, pregnancy and many other topics.

The bottom line is that you are conclusively HIV negative.

Dr. Bob



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