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ELISA reactive, WB Indeterminate

Jul 4, 2011

Hi Dr. I am 9 weeks pregnant and just received my HIV blood work which showed the ELISA as reactive and WB as indeterminate due to bands p24, p40 and p51 as observed.

My husband and I were tested 6 months ago for our life insurance policy and both negative for HIV. I am a nurse, but have not had any situations in the past 6 months or prior where I feel I could have possibly contracted the virus.

My OBGYN said that this could mean I am HIV positive, but it could also be a false positive due to the pregnancy. I am extremely nervous and not sure what to think. I know a lot of your prior answers addressed this, but I wanted to see your thoughts and if the specific bands I mentioned mean anything specific? My husband and I do not do drugs and we are both monogamous.

Thank you in advance for your reply.

Response from Dr. Frascino


From your history and testing results so far I'm confident your reactive ELISA and indeterminate Western Blot were a false-positive/indeterminate result, most likely caused by nonspecific cross-reacting antibodies induced by your pregnancy. As you mentioned, there are many similar scenarios in the archives (in the chapter dedicated to pregnancy).

Western Blot results are interpreted as below:

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 positive results.

You do not have reactivity to gp120/160; consequently, your results are indeterminate.

Dr. Bob

Nightsweats after months from exposure-Please advise

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