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Tested HIV+ and no detectable virus after 11 months
Nov 6, 2000

Hello

I suspiciously tested positive in August 2000. What I mean by that is that I initially tested "Inconclusive" and then they re-tested me stating they will do another kind of test and when I got that result, they said that I had "two of the six patterns of having HIV" and that I was positive because of this. They also said that they have never seen this "two pattern" circumstance on an HIV individual. I then went to get a CD4 count and Viral load test through this same non-profit study group. When I got that result, the counselor said that I had a CD4 of 850 and then said in a very suspicious manner that no viral load test was done. Now, I know that the nurse wrote down to do a viral load on the biles of blood that was taken from me. Also, after another time of going to a different city clinic they again said that they "mistakenly" didn't do a viral load test and my CD4 was 847. The whole reason I went to this clinic was to get a Viral Load test and they again didn't do a viral load test by mistake?? Lastly, I finally got my viral load results after my 3rd instance of blood taken for that very reason and it came back undetectable (below 50). I know that my slight chances of getting the virus was at least 11 months ago or more, and that was protected (never had unprotected sex). So, my questions are... Is it possible for someone to have an undetectable viral load after 11 months of being exposed? And it seems suspicious to me about my initial HIV+ result. Could it be that I tested "false-positive"? I'm not sure if they even did BOTH the Elisa and Western Blot on the 2nd test they did on me that came back "positive". The person who gave me the positive result made it sound like I have the patterns of having it but didn't see any antibodies. What is going on? All of these people seem very unorganized and inconsistent. What do you suggest?

Response from Dr. Boyle

Based upon the description of your testing, your normal CD4+ cell count and undetectable viral load, it is possible that you had a false positive test for HIV. There have been several recent reviews of HIV testing, including an article by my colleague, Dr. Susan Ball, published in The AIDS Reader and available at www.medscape.com. I suggest that you and your doctor review these articles and re-evaluate your results. If appropriate, you should be retested. BB

Brian Boyle, M.D., J.D.



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