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positive elisa, negative western blot
Mar 13, 2012

Hi Doctor, I'm a 21 year old heterosexual male. About seven and a half months ago I had sex with a woman I didn't know. We used a condom, but she did give me oral sex for a really short period of time (maybe a couple seconds). I decided to get tested just to be safe afterwards as I was kind of worried since I didn't know the woman. I was tested at 4 or 5 weeks after and again at about 9 or 10 weeks after. All tests were negative. Recently I went in for full STD screening (I try to go every six months or so) and I tested reactive on the ELISA and non-reactive on the Western Blot. My doctor called me in to do another screening and a viral load PCR test (not really sure what is was). I read online that a positive ELISA and negative western blot this late after potential exposure is a negative over-all test result so I was just wondering why my doctor sent me to get more tests done? It's been weighing pretty heavy on me for the last couple days and I'd like to be done with it. I am sure that the encounter back in late July of 2011 (7.5 months ago) was the only time any chance of infection has been possible. Also to note, I had a parasite infection (Giardia Lamblia) that I was treated for around november december and january that should be cured, but who knows. I was given a lot of pretty broad spectrum meds for the parasites over those months so I'm wondering if that could have something to do with the positive ELISA too. Maybe a yeast infection? Sorry for overload of info here, but I've been awfully worried since the Doc called me in to do more testing. Thanks so much

Response from Dr. Wohl

The problem with low or no risk people getting HIV tested is the their risk of a false positive is relatively high. This only adds to more anxiety and testing. Your doc was covering his/herself and ordered a viral load, which looks for the actual virus rather than antibodies to HIV made by your body. It will be negative and when it is you are done with testing as you are certified HIV negative. DW



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