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False Positive?
      #168960 - 01/06/06 05:47 PM

I recognize that I have a severe anxiety disorder. i have been diagnosed in the past (social and generalized anxiety), and medicated, though I weaned myself off the meds, and have been doing great for over a year.
I had a low risk encounter that triggered the anixety, and the past six weeks of my life (since the encounter) have been unbearable. I was negative at a 4 week rapid test, and took a 6 weeks Elisa today, which should be back by Tuesday.
I wanted to wait 13 weeks, but had a panic attack this morning, and went to the Health Department.
THe counselor mentioned that the window period in essentially in place because the ELISA is highly sensitive, and can give a flase positive. He said the Western Blot isn't a s sensitive, and will be more acurate at 13 weeks... so it is used to check a positive to see if it is false.
I'm worried that I might cause myself MORE anxiety (is that possible??) by getting this test, if it gives a false positive. I've read that if you have a cold/flu, it can give false positives.
Has anyone heard of this, or am I doing too much internet reading.
Okay, I KNOW I am doing too much internet reading, but I don't know what else to do with myself. I have trouble focusing on anything anymore.
I hope this post isnt' too annoying. It may appear as if my fear is irrational, which since i did have a low risk exposure, I assume it's possible though highly unlikely. It seems I am giving myself symptoms due to stress (diarreah) (at least I pray it's due to stress) THe fear however unlikely it may seem feel all too real to me, and I just need somewhere to vent. Thank you for allowing me to do so.

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Reged: 10/17/05
Posts: 1329
Re: False Positive? new
      #168963 - 01/06/06 06:19 PM

Been there....experienced that anxiety...I know it is almost unbearable. No need to apologize. There is no easy answer.....there is a risk of a false positive with the ELISA...not sure how frequent that is...and I can assure you that given your level of anxiety..a negative will only buy you a little peace..and then you will start questioning it again and want a 12 week test. You stated tha your risk was low...take comfort in that....take the test now, it will ease your mind when you get a neg (again...only for a short while!) The web surfing is a common stress related disorder that leads to intensified anxiety. So, try to ease off can find anything on the internet and remember...just because it is written doesn't mean it's true~!~!!

I wish I could offer you something more concrete to help you..I know I wouldn't freak about the false positive possibility..remember if it is a false positive it means you are in fact NEGATIVE>

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Reged: 12/21/05
Posts: 352
Re: False Positive? new
      #168969 - 01/06/06 07:50 PM

Yes I have gone that route too. The chances of getting false positive on ELISA is very low.(you can do your own research to find out how low :-) ) I am a diagnosed anxiety disorder patient too. I got mine tested at 5 weeks and it is negative. My anxiety and stress level dropped significantly even though i know that it is not 100%. I am living with the fact that 90% i am confirmed -ve. So 10% i can still be +ve. So if you compare the %, I am at much much higher risk..but hell forget the statistics or % wait until the results, don't think about the result until the day it is due..come here that day and post..there are lots of strong people here that can give you enough courage to go and get your results!!!
Will keep you in my prayer for sure.

-ve at 1, 2,3,7 mnths..Free of HIV and OCD now.THANKS to all the BEAUTIFULfriends at TheBody!

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Re: False Positive? new
      #168979 - 01/06/06 09:08 PM

Been there...actually still there! I had an HIV test that was negative and I have actually decided the lab is wrong! Do I know this is irrational..yes! But I have this tongue thing that has to be hairy leukoplakia (I can find no other thing close on the internet that looks similar) and it is rare to have this without being HIV positive. I have an appointment with a specialist and I am driving myself crazy until then! My other symptoms have not gone away even after the negative result! I hope everything turns out well!

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      #168994 - 01/07/06 12:35 AM

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Re: False Positive? new
      #169012 - 01/07/06 02:57 AM

Thank you everyone for your replies.
The HIV counselor actually recommended that I go back to my doctor and temporarily take the meds again, and I'd like to, but I am currently w/o health insurance. Also without the extra money for self pay.
I weaned myself off of the meds because my general practictioner recommended I do so (he was prescribing the meds to me) and because I was having trouble affording co-pay for visits and meds (I had insurance at the time) Weaning was a little difficult physically (paxil withdrawl- headaches and a weird "shock" feeling in my head) but emotionally I was doing okay- until now.
I definately plan to practice safe sex in the future to preserve my health (mentally and physically)..... Thanks guys for kind words. The counselor understood my situation and said the the Health Department might refer me to some clinics where i might get assistance. I would like to try therapy again. Paxil did help, and I wil ltry it again if needed, but it was very physically addicting. ((but if it's all that helps, I recognize that it's worth it))
I'll update Tuesday or Wednesday (he told me to call Tues morn. to see if the results were back) with good news I hope.
Thanks again. It feels good to get this off my chest. I talked to my friend briefly about it, but I can't really let her know how deep the anxiety is, and how obsessive the thoughts are. I'll keep you guys in my thoughts as well- those who have already tested and have yet to test.

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