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update test to "can a specialist be wrong" post (FALSE POSITIVE HIV TESTS, 2011)
Apr 16, 2011

Dr. Bob, I'm not sure what to say or how to react - the Orasure test results were HIV-Negative! I wonder if it's safe to assume this is a very reliable test or do you think it's still worth going any further with "Elisa/WB" , especially considering the original ones were apparently false positives ? Dammit, 12 years of lymphocyte tests was one thing and lucky my subsets were always within normal range because who knows what friggin' effect HIV drugs would have had on the system, without the virus present, .. but as for the psychological factor, I have not been yet able to come to terms with after thinking all these years that I was virally enhanced, and now realizing there's a 99% chance I'm not .. I refused to listen to those who said that a single incident of female to male sex transmission via vaginal sex has a negligible probability to begin with ( I'm a male, hetero ), but until this most recent switch to the HIV specialist who is not only a respected treating physician but also a researcher and who said he would bet anything that the consistent, repeated lack of an inverted cd4/cd8 ratio is so characteristic that you can practically diagnose hiv status on that alone should be enough to get me to re-test, I did not listen to any one else either and just continued biting my nails every year waiting for the Cd4% to drop.. it never has.

can a specialist be wrong ? Mar 29, 2011

Dr F, I tested + nearly 12 years ago, since then annual lymphocite results have consistently shown the abs cd4 around 650 ( morning tests always ) and cd4 percentage never below 40 %. More importantly to this question, my cd4 / cd8 ratio has always been "normal" usually around 1.6 - again, consistently every year since the get-go inclusing the first year. I have never taken any hiv meds, and also never experienced any symptoms. My NEW doctor - the old one retired - suddenly drops this bomb (and mind you, he IS an HIV specialist, here in the Bay Area ) : " Every single HIV + preson on this planet has an inverted cd4/cd8 ratio from the beginning to the end, without the help of meds.. sure you can be a long term progressor, you can be an elite controller, and that exlains a normal cd4 and cd4 %, but, but I can assure you , no way, no how ( ok, using your saying here for effect .) are you hiv +, with a consistent normal cd4/cd8 ratio. It simply is unheard of . WTF ??!! Do I get tested again now after more than a decade ?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

I would agree there is a strong likelihood that you are not HIV infected and that your initial test 12 years ago was a false positive. I and many other HIV specialists have seen a number of cases very similar to yours. Chances are your retired doc was not an HIV specialist, right? Yeah, I thought so. Perhaps your old doc should have retired some time ago?!?

I would suggest you repeat your HIV test without delay. Write back with your results and I'll post your follow-up for our readers. We are all keeping our fingers, toes, (eyes?) crossed for you!

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

Follow up to "can a specialist be wrong" (Submitted Mar 30, 2011)

Dr Bob, thank you for the reply, I will repeat the tests, and I am highly encouraged. And you are correct of course, the previous Dr. was an infectious diseases specialist but not an hiv/aids specialist. I suppose the lack of an inverted cd4/cd8 ratio by itself should have been a clue, but the fact the the VL was also never detected in any of the annual tests could have been the other clue. As my new Dr said, undetectable VL, BY ITSELF, is not necessarily indicative of an absence of the virus, but the normal cd4/cd8 ratio without the help of meds is a 1 in a million chance, in that the body's natural defense against the virus is to produce and mantain at all times a much greater number of cd8 cells than cd4.. elite controllers included. He cited me a couple of published studies which support that assertion. I will post results ( and thanks for keeping fingers and toes crossed ) soon as I have them.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

I would consider your negative OraSure test definitive. However, if you are at all uncertain, go ahead and confirm it with an ELISA. The result will undoubtedly be negative.

WOO-de-frickin-HOO! You are HIV negative! I know about 35,000,000 folks who would love to be in your shoes at this very moment! Welcome to your new reality as a virally non-enhanced individual!

Congratulations!

Dr. Bob



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