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Wrroied and need to make sure!
Aug 16, 2001

Hello I wrote you on July 31, 2001. You told me with two western blot 22 wks apart I was negative. But that wasn't how it happened, I guess I wasn't clear. Two wks following an exposure I tested elisa postive western blot negative. Then 22 wks after the last time which would have been 20 weeks since the first test. I tested ELISA negative I don't know if they did the western blot or not. My doctor told me I would have to test every 6 months for two years to be sure. My question is do I have to test that much. And with the negative test at 22 weeks by elisa proof that my first test wasn't right and I am negative? It wouldn't go back to negative right wouldn't become postive or indeterminable. Thanks so much for answering my question, I have really been stressed out. I hope you will answer this so I could put this all behind me and move on with my life.

Response from Dr. Aberg

The first time you got tested, the results were ELISA positive and western blot negative. This can be either because you have early infection or because you have an ELISA false positive. So, in those circumstances, we sometimes check a HIV viral load in the blood and we follow the western blot to see if it becomes positive. Alternatively, one could wait a few weeks and just repeat the ELISA like you did. The fact that the ELISA was negative, a western blot is not needed.

The recommendation is to have 2 HIV antibody tests (ELISA) done 24 weeks apart. If your ELISA is negative at 24 weeks, then you do not have HIV. Some experts would recommend that a HIV viral load be performed if there are discrepancies. From what you have told me, I would interpret this as you having a false positive ELISA.

I would not recommend you get repeat testing every six months unless you have another risk. If you are having sexual activities with someone you do not know their HIV status or have other risks, then you should get screened periodically.


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