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Positive Elisa & Western Blot but negative PCR-DNA test

Apr 2, 2013

Hello Dr David, Thanks for your valuable insights on HIV prevention and management. I have had a curious question for sometime now, I would like to put it to you (pardom me if it sounds naive!). Say for example if a person has a Positive ELISA and a Positive Western Blot test, however his/her PCR-DNA/RNA tests comes out Negative.Then from what I read in your replies, this would imply that the Elisa/WB tests were false positives.

However can such a diagnostic also imply that actually the infected person developed such robost antibodies for HIV that wiped out the HIV infection itself. If this makes sense then I would like to to know if any research has been carried out in this area to harness/replicate such antibodies.

Kind Regards Sam

Response from Dr. Wohl

To be clear, a person can be infected with HIV and have an undetectable HIV RNA (viral load). We see this with HIV therapy, of course, but also in so called elite controllers - people who do not cure themselves of infection but who can contain the virus on their own.

They are a rare bunch, these elite controllers, and the evidence suggests that they make a robust immune response to HIV after infection.

False positive Western blots are very very unusual. Therefore, a positive ELISA (EIA) and Western blot for HIV is HIV infection.


Do you agree with that?
how long does it take for hiv virus to die in air?

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