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ELISA TEST : Positive, Negative and Indeterminate from the same sample?
Feb 13, 2007

Dec. 23 06, I went for a routine HIV test because I started a new relationship with a guy. My ELISA came back positive that night. The next day they called to say my confirmation ELISA came back one indeterminate, the next negative. They sent off for the WB, and it came back indeterminate with every band negative, but p24 was showing either positive or negative, but indeterminate. The Clinic explained it as they could not get a read at all for p24 to classify it. The Clinic assured me I was negative, but could not classify me Negative. 30 days later, today in fact, I had my Doctor follow up with another WB test. Is that the correct way forward to clearing up the confusing test results thus far? What is your take on the results thus far? Some knowledge from HIV Specialized Docs would be very helpful for understanding my risk, and approach to getting answers.

Response from Dr. Conway

It sounds to me as if you are probably negative. The ELISA tests are meant to be screening tests, and may be falsely positive. If this is the case, you could often see a positive or negative result just by running the same test on the same sample that is really negative. This can happen even more often if a different test is used.

As for the Western blot test, you can often see a single band present on a test that is, again, truly negative. The key here is to follow the test along over a period of 6 months. If the pattern remains the same, you could then conclude the test is negative.


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