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HIV Transmission and Education >> Am I Infected?

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dmvcc99
Newbie

Reged: 02/15/10
Posts: 3
initial screening positive but no antibodies?
      #249436 - 02/15/10 04:20 AM

Forgive me if this has already been addressed. A week and a half ago I had a regular HIV screening. Not sure if this was ELISA or not, but my guess would be yes as it was through my general physician. From what my Dr. told me, the initial screening showed "reaction" and was positive but no HIV antibodies were found in my blood. I am aware of the "window" period and that this can happen. However, my Dr. feels that signs point to a false positive due to my history.... Recently started dating a new girl that also recently had a HIV screening that was negative. First had sex with her in October and then not again regularly until about 3-4 weeks ago. Prior to that, I had not had vaginal intercourse with anyone in about 1 year. My Dr. explained that if I had been infected from prior vaginal intercourse dating back to Feb of 2009, I would most certainly show antibodies by this time. There were two or three other occcasions in the past several months that I performed and recieved oral sex on a female for a few minutes other than the girl I am now dating. My understanding is that although there is some risk from performing oral sex on a female that the risk is quite low. I have not had any type of illness or sickness in the last few months that could be attributed to HIV exposure, although I understand that some if not all show no symptoms at all. My dr wanted to go ahead and take more blood to check the "viral load" to see if in fact there is any virus in my blood. I am currently waiting those results. Regardless of those results, she will do another blood test in 3-4 months to retest. As you can imagine, i am going out of my mind. I have been quite upfront with the girl I am now seeing and we have not had sex since this all started last week. I guess my questions are:

1) What are the chances that the initial screening could be erroneous?
2) what are the chances I got HIV from performing oral sex on an infected person at the end of december? ( i do not know that she was or is infected)
3) What are the chances that I have gotten something from the new girl? As I said, we first had sex (unprotected in October) and again not until 3-4 weeks ago? My guess would be that she did not have anything in October because she recently tested negative and would my iniital screening already show "reaction" if I was only infected in the last few weeks?



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Jackie__Blue
Legend

Reged: 01/20/07
Posts: 1186
Re: initial screening positive but no antibodies? new
      #249437 - 02/15/10 06:12 AM

Since it is antibodies that the ELISA is designed to detected in order to return a positive result, I'm not sure what your doctor means by there were no antibodies.

The only thing I can think of is that when the ELISA was reactive the confirmation test, the Western Blot was negative. But this scenario would give a indeterminate result. (pos elisa, neg WB). If this is the case your doctor did a very poor job of explaining it to you.

This can be caused either because there is something in your system that can trigger a reactive result of the ELISA, you are in the middle of seroconverting which means you probably would have been infected just a couple of weeks before the test, seroconversion takes place between 4-6 weeks after infection for most of the population.

You are correct that transmission is extremely low with oral sex.

I'm concerned that your doctor did not explain things very well to you because I wonder if the reason is because she is not well versed about HIV. For starters, an indeterminate result such as this should be retested in just a couple weeks, not 3 or 4 months. If the second test comes back indeterminate then it is considered a negative result. That fact your doctor wants to wait another 3-4 months sends a red flag, not only for your peace of mind, but public health. I hope she at least told you to use condoms since your status is unclear.

It's been both my personal experience and from posts such as yours that I have found General physician's tend to know surprising little about HIV.

I would suggest you try to find out exactly what your doctor meant. Also go get another test done by somebody with HIV testing knowledge. (AIDS service organization, health dept., etc) and get a second test. Some places offer the 20 minute mouth swab which again if positive must be followed up with a doctor's visit in order to get a Western Blot done.

Good luck with this and let us know.



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dmvcc99
Newbie

Reged: 02/15/10
Posts: 3
Esmerelda new
      #249441 - 02/15/10 04:22 PM

E- thank you for your response. I am not sure if the initial screening was an ELISA or not. It sounds like from what i read that this is the standard first test, but not sure if thats what was used or not. I do know that a WB was not done yet and she is now checking for "VL" to see if the virus is in fact in my blood. I just cant imagine contracting from perofrming oral sex for a minute or two a the end of december...thats why I am going nuts right now. Dr did say only protected sex if any at all until the next test. She seems well versed in HIV and I may have misunderstood some of the info she gave me as I almost passed out iin her office. But I definately understood when she said that the results I got were uncommon and that is why more tests were needed. She also told me that had I contracted something from a previous encounter (feb 09) that I would have certainly shown antibodies by now?? does any of this make sense? Thank you so much for your thoughts.

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Jackie__Blue
Legend

Reged: 01/20/07
Posts: 1186
Re: Esmerelda new
      #249455 - 02/17/10 07:05 PM

Best not to over think all this. Still don't see your doctor as 'well' versed in HIV, but she's not my doctor.

Just get retested and after you get whatever results you get, deal with what needs to be dealt with.

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themushroom
All Star

Reged: 02/18/10
Posts: 91
Re: Esmerelda new
      #249465 - 02/18/10 10:41 AM

find a better dr they should have explained this all to you so that you understood all this and did not go home with this anxiety but if it was like esmerelda said pos on the elisa and neg western blot then you are considered negative

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dmvcc99
Newbie

Reged: 02/15/10
Posts: 3
Re: Esmerelda new
      #249486 - 02/19/10 04:27 AM

Esmerelda and Mushroom, just a quick update. Results came back negative. Doc told me, the intial ELISA test showed reaction, a secondary test was negative. The new blood they took was for the Western Blot which also came back negative. She wants to retest in 3 months and told me not to have unprotected sex until then. My last question, is that normal protocol?? Any risky behavior I had was on Jan 2 of this year. I went down on a girl. That was it. I have been told this is no risk? True?? Other than that, no other behavior. Your thoughts?

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themushroom
All Star

Reged: 02/18/10
Posts: 91
Re: Esmerelda new
      #249492 - 02/19/10 04:47 PM

Oral is a very minimal risk at best you probably have a better chance of catching a leperchon

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