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False positive after blood donation
Oct 27, 2004

Recently, I donated blood, and two weeks later received a letter from the blood center saying that I tested positive on the HIV antibody screening test, but negative on the Western Blot, and negative on the NAT. And therefore, the screening test was a false positive, and I should have no cause for alarm.

Just to be sure, I talked to a donor counselor at the blood center, and she told me I was definitely negative (especially because of the negative NAT), and there was no need to be retested or see my doctor.

I still wasn't convinced, so I went to my doctor and explained the situation, and asked to be retested. But she wouldn't test me, saying it was completely unnecessary, because the blood donor test was thorough and conclusive. Instead, she suggested anxiety counseling, which I've started.

Do you agree with the donor counselor and my doctor that it's completely unnecessary for me to be retested? I've never done anything risky, but I still can't get past the "what-if's." Also, I've been reading about window periods, and saw that the average window period for NAT was 10-12 days. So, how encouraging or conclusive would a negative NAT be, when my last (very low risk) sexual contact of any kind was 6 weeks before? Thanks!

Response from Dr. Lee

I do not understand why these professionals would not have suggested another HIV test (in fact possibly even a PCR), if for no other reason than to reduce your anxiety. I suggest you go to another doctor or health department and simply request an HIV test. They may help you more.

Be well.

med changes
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