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Western Blot
Jun 26, 2005

I went in for my prenatal bloodwork and my HIV screen came back reactive. The Western Blot came back as indeterminate with only p24 showing a rating of 2 (weakly reactive). I am very concerned and am wondering if pregnancy often causes a reading such as this. I had blood redrawn today for a repeat Western Blot and HIV PCR. Please advise.

Response from Dr. Luzuriaga

A positive ELISA must be accompanied by a fully positive Western blot in order to diagnose someone as HIV positive. False positive ELISA's (screening tests) can occur, especially during pregnancy. It sounds, however, as if your providers have ordered the appropriate testing to more definitively rule out HIV infection -- a Western blot detects specific HIV proteins, while a PCR test detects HIV itself in the peripheral blood.


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