May 7, 2011
Hi Doctor!! In Dec of last year I had protected sex with a guy, I'm female. I never thought of Hiv because the sex was protected. This April I noticed swollen lymph nodes in my armpits and neck. This really freaked me out and automatically think about the time with that guy. I can't help but think maybe the condom broke?! I had a test done 15 weeks after my possible exposure. My doctor said it was negative. I notice it was a western blot. I realize its used for confirmation purposes only and questioned why I wasn't asked to test again or told I had a positive elisa. She told me that she only ordered a western blot and its negative and I don't need to retest. I know after reading your site that my doctor did the wrong test., but can I move on with my life with a negative Western blot at 15 weeks? Thanks in advance for your advice!
Response from Dr. Frascino
You are absolutely correct: your doctor ordered the wrong test and someone should advise her of that fact. You are also correct that Western Blot testing should only be performed as a confirmatory test for a repeatedly reactive (positive) screening ELISA, EIA or rapid test. That said, you actually don't need a repeat or follow-up test. The problem with Western Blot tests is false-indeterminate or false-positive results. Luckily your test was negative. False-negative results on Western Blot testing is not a problem due to the sensitivity and specificity of the WB assay.
You can now yell WOO-HOO! and stop worrying about HIV, OK?
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.