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INDETERMINATE WESTERN BLOT w/P24 at 20 weeks
Sep 1, 2004

Dr Conway:

After reading some of your responses I pressed my doc for a WB test to be sure. It came back indeterminant with P24 band reactive at 20 weeks. The doc doesn't know what to do. I also tested negative on Oraquick at 20 weeks, negative DNA at 13 weeks, negative bDNA at 10 weeks, negative RNA at 7 weeks, and negative Home Access out to 18 weeks. Doc is confused as I am too. I have read that P24 shows up first. Is it possible that I have just started to seroconvert at 5 months ???? Is there anything else that could cause a P24 band on the WB test? Please respond. Dr. Bob says I'm fine and Dr. Gallant says to retest in 1-3 months. I did retest one month later at 6 months and the results were negative Elisa and negative Viral Load <50 copies. Please answer I need a third opinion since the other two are conflicting.

Thanks, mag

Response from Dr. Conway

I don't think the opinions are really conflicting. It is highly likely that you are fine. All of the tests that you have done do NOT indicate that there is any virus in your body. It is correct to say that the p24 band is often the first one to appear in seroconversion, but it is also the most common one to be present in persons who have false positive Western blot tests. This false positive is not completely understood, and relates to the presence of cross-reacting antibodies that have nothing to do with HIV, but react in some way with the proteins that are part of the Western blot test. This is more common in women than men, especially if they have been pregnant. So, you should be tested again in 1-3 months to show that the Western blot is not changing, still showing the p24 band (or perhaps not even that). This result will confirm that you are not infected with HIV.



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