RE: your 35 weeks pregnant indeterminate Western Blot response
Sep 2, 2011
Dear Dr. Frascino,
Absolutely love your column. You are the most informative and funniest HIV expert on the Internet. You are a true hero for all the knowledge and support you provide. I certainly hope that you are correct that pregnancy has confounded the Western Blot results and that she is HIV-. There is another possibility, however, that I am surprised you did not mention. She writes about her husband, "He has never been tested." And you frequently point out that not every act of unprotected sex with an HIV+ individual leads to infection. So, it is possible that he is, in fact, HIV+ and that infection never occurred until recently, after conception. I certainly hope this is not the case, but since his status is unknown and they continue to have unprotected sex, it is possible that he has recently infected her (or will). One recommendation you might make to the couple is that he take a rapid test to determine his status. If he is negative, then they're in the clear, and her anxiety over waiting for additional Western Blot tests can be relieved.
P.S. Thanks for following my previous suggestion that you recommend a "licensed mental health professional" instead of only a psychiatrist when medications do not seem indicated for problems among the worried well. Best of health to you always and long may you provide your invaluable services.
Response from Dr. Frascino
You are correct, it is theoretically possible for the hubby to be infected. However it is extremely unlikely considering the entire medical history. Consequently I decided not to mention this remote possibility. The questioner was already quite stressed out ("If it wasn't for your Web site I would have died of anxiety already!!!) and her Western Blot results were due to come back that very day.
I remain confident all turned out "well" in this case.
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