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Husband may be positive but I am negative
Oct 3, 2012

In July 2010 I separated from my husband but only for 6 months. We had and have been having unprotected sex with each other before that time since. During that time I was told he had sex with a dancer in a strip club but he said supposedly they kinda used protection; she put a condom on him with her mouth. This being too much detail I don't know the rest. I recently went for testing July 2012, negative.However he just tested positive Elisa but abnormal Western Blot, what does that mean?? Why do I have negative results? He got a flu vac last year but so did I. Is it possible there is a bigger window period, or that I could have antibodies against HIV? Or has he put himself at risk since the one time I know about? Or has it just not shown up in me yet? Since he told me shortly after returning 2 yrs ago he kept saying he was worried something was wrong with him that he may have gotten something; but yet he waited for me to make his appointment and now since the confusing test result he says it will be ok we will figure it out.

Response from Mr. Cordova

Hi there:

The window period remains at three months. I couldn't tell you whether or not he has had additional risks other than the one he told you about. Only he can tell you that. Also, it's not clear what the incident fully entailed. Was there penetration? Was a condom used from start to finish? These answers would give us a better idea of how risky the incident was.

A positive ELISA and abnormal Western Blot does not indicate a positive diagnosis. Abnormal Western Blot tests account for 4% to 20% of Western Blot assays in various studies. The most important factor in evaluating abnormal Western Blot test results is risk assessment. Patients in low-risk categories with abnormal tests are almost never infected with either HIV-1 or HIV-2; repeat testing often continues to show abnormal results and the cause of this pattern is often not clear. Patients with abnormal tests who are in the process of seroconversion usually have positive Western Blots within one month. DNA PCR may also be helpful for sorting out abnormal serological test results. An HIV specialist can help assess his HIV risk and interpret the HIV test results if necessary.

Your test results could be negative because he may not be HIV positive, so there would be no risk for you. Or, on the chance he is HIV positive, transmission may just have occurred. HIV is not transmitted during each and every act of penetrative sex.

Since he has had sex with other people, I would suggest using a condom for each and every act of penetrative sex until his HIV status can be determined.

Bottom line: He needs further testing, and you should protect yourself in the interim. Good luck.

In health,

Richard



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