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please help - different test results are killing me
Apr 26, 2012

my last exposure was early December 2011 - i went for a physical on Feb 11 and the western blot came back indeterminate with present P24 only - i went for an Ora quick test and was negative - tested for PCR on Feb 16 and was negative. the doctor wanted to confirm so i did another oral test and came back negative and another PCR and western blot on April 17...here is what happened.... western blot came back negative but the pcr came back with 20 copies/ ML and 1.301 log 10 HIV-1 RNA.. The doctor is confused and want me to take another western blot and PCR..... I'm FREAKING OUT AND I CAN'T THINK ANY MORE... PLEASE HELP

Response from Dr. Young

Hello,

I'm pretty darn sure that you are HIV negative. Indeed, the sequence of monitoring tests leaves me with questions. The first test that should be done in your situation is a screening test (like Orasure, or other ELISA-based test). If that's negative, as you have been twice, then the result is negative. No need for a Western blot at all. I would have stopped there.

Indeed, the folly of doing HIV PCRs in your situation is that the test is so sensitive, that you can get spurious false positives- just like your HIV RNA test result of 20. If you were truly HIV infected, 5 months after your last exposure, and one were to believe that your RNA test was a true positive, it simply would not be expected that you'd have a negative OraSure, negative Western blot. Just not remotely possible.

So, I'd stop freaking, stop testing. Your HIV negative.

BY



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