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Negative NAT, and then Positive ECLIA
Oct 21, 2012

I had a low-risk (or no risk) exposure last July 14, 2012. It was protected sex and unprotected oral with a CSW (I am a straight male). I was told that I never had to test since it was a no risk exposure, but I still did to alleviate my anxiety.

On September 9 (7 weeks after incident), I took a NAT test and it turned out negative. I am aware that this test looks for the virus itself and will be accurate after 2 weeks since exposure. I was already confident but to completely rule out HIV, I waited for 3 months for an antibody test.

Yesterday October 12 (13 weeks after incident), I took an ECLIA test and was told that it was reactive at 4 point something value. In my country, they have to send it out to our capital city for confirmatory Western Blot test which I have to wait 4 weeks for the results to come in.

I'm really confused right now. Was it a false positive ECLIA test? Was it a false negative NAT test? I'm not sure if it didn't sink in to me yet or I'm just used to this feeling of anxiety. Please help me put things in to perspective. :(

Response from Dr. Wohl

This is what happens when good people take good HIV tests but get bad results. Your risk of a false positive was relatively high. This is because your exposure risk was so low. Therefore, on balance, the scales tip more in favor of a false positive (the test is not perfect and is designed to over-call infection) than a true positive.

My drachma is on your Western blot being negative.

DW



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