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positive screening means hiv+?
Oct 4, 2001

does a positive screening test for hiv mean that you are hiv positive?

Response from Dr. Aberg

Not necessarily. When one talks about a screening test, they are talking about a test called an ELISA. A positive screening test is always confrimed by a test called a western blot. If the confirmatory test is negative, I usually recommend a repeat in a few weeks. It is uncommon but some people do have false positive ELISA's. Please click on the section on "AM I infected". We have lots of questions and answers about HIV testing. A positive ElISA and a negative Western Blot means that you do not have HIV. The tricky part of testing is when it is a new exposure. It may take weeks to a few months for the western blot to become positive. In those cases, careful follow up with your doctor is required and western blots will be followed to see if it is becoming positive. Also, your blood can be tested for detectable virus.


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