Initial ICMA positive with Indeterminate Western Blot followed by a non-detectable HIV-1 RNA PCR test
Sep 7, 2011
I want to first thank you for having a forum like this.
So here it goes...about a week and a half ago (Friday August 26th) I had a blood panel done with STD testing. The doctor then called me on Tuesday (August 30th) but I missed it and he left a voicemail saying that I should call him two days later to discuss results. So I did and on Tursday September 1st he said you are HIV positive. My world was crushed. I had to tell my girlfriend and her family that I could have passed it on to her. Told my family and so on. The next day I went to my doctor's office and he was not there so I asked for a retest and the nurses showed me the results. They were as follows: ICMA HIV1/0/2 ABS Index Value 2.01 High. HIV 1/0/2 ABS, QUal Abnormal Repeatedly reactive. Western Blot Indeterminate all bands absent except P24 that had an Equivocal. I didn't understand any of it so I started researching and came accross your site that made me have hope this was a mistake. Since then I received the HIV-RNA PCR result as non-detectable less than 20 copies per mL. And my T CEll Panel has me with Absolute CD3 612/UL Low, Absolute CD4 Helper 350/UL Low, Neutrophils 82 % High and Lymphs 12% Low. Everything else was within reference interval.
Can you please help me understand these results. This has been the worst weekend of my life and my doctor doesn't even bother to call me back. I am going to see a Infectious disease specialist today (September 6th).
Response from Dr. Frascino
A repeatedly reactive screening HIV-antibody test (rapid test, ELISA, EIA, ICMA) plus an indeterminate Western Blot does not mean you are HIV positive! This testing pattern is "indeterminate," not "positive"! Your follow-up undetectable quantitative HIV RNA PCR indicates you are not HIV infected. There was no indication for running a T-cell panel. There are many conditions that can cause a transient drop in absolute CD4 count.
I'm glad you are planning to see another physician. Your initial physician is incompetent. Encourage the infectious disease specialist to contact your first doctor to point out his error.
Write back with a follow-up report after you've seen the infectious disease specialist.
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