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Dr. Aberg Help!!
Mar 29, 2003

Hello Dr. Aberg,

I am desperate for some help and keep running into a dead end. I test positive with elisa home test. I then went to the health dept. and tested neg. despite all my hiv related health problems and abnormal blood counts. Did another home elisa test positive and orasure negative. To make matters worse I have an 8yr. old son suffering from night sweats, fevers and resp. problems. I have tried to get him tested at barnes jewish hosp. and they say i need a referral but I can't get a referral without having a positive test result from a physician. There supposedly is alot of help for hiv/aids but I'm not getting anywhere. My son and I need to be tested another way and I fear one of us will be dead before we get accurate test results. I'm desperate for advice and terribly worried about my son. My son is very small for his age and below the lowest percentile with his height. He has had pneumonia 2x the last 4 yrs. I'm not a worried well I just want a professional to test us and give us accurate results. Please advise me. I'm desperate and worry about my son.

Response from Dr. Aberg

It sounds like you had a false positive home test. Elisa tests must be confirmed by a western blot. I don't know which health department you went to but both St Louis City and St Louis County would run an elisa test and if positive, they would run a western blot to confirm this. Although there may be a miscommunication or improperly run test, I have found both health departments to have very accurate reporting of HIV results. There is no reason to have your son tested unless you had a true positive HIV test or you have some other reason to expect that he was exposed to HIV.

I am not sure what you mean about needing a referral unless you have an insurance that requires you to go through your primary care provider or an insurance that Barnes-Jewish hospital does not accept. You say your son has had pneumonia twice and is in the lowest percentile for height. What about weight? He should be evaluated either by a family physician or pediatrician. If you do not have insurance, there are many clinics that offer care to children as well as adults in the St Louis region. I worry that something besides HIV is going on and I agree that both you and your son should be evaluated. I would recommend that you contact either Children's Hospital or Cardinal Glennon Hospital for futher evaluation of your son's symptoms.


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