@ 6 mos. WB indeterminate p18reactive

Question

A girl that I know that i had sex with dropped a bomb on me today. 6 months after we had had sex she took a WB test, the result was "indeterminate". It also says p18 reactive. It does not give any other proteins or any other things that are reactive, does this mean that the test was "indeterminate" based only on the p18 being reactive and that all of the other ones were "non-reactive" since there was no mention of them on the report?
I am stressing out like crazy over this. I understand that by 6 months the probability that she has already undergone seroconversion his super high and that a positive result is likely for this WB test. Is it possible to test indeterminate or have a result like I described above after finishing seroconversion as she probably has?
For Some reason the EIA test the ran in conjunction was for HIV-2 only I believe which doesn't seem to make any sense, it came back non-reactive but this information is pretty useless concerning the HIV-1 western blot test correct? What are the chances that at 6 months she could be HIV positive but be seroconverting and therefore not giving a positive result on the WB test?

Thank you for your time and knowledge

Answer

Hi,

I'll make several brief points:

  1. This wouldn't be a "bomb" and you wouldn't be "stressing out like crazy" if you had had protected sex! We must consider that all our sexual partners could be HIV infected and take all the necessary precautions (latex condoms!) to prevent further spread of the virus.

  2. If your gal pal had a Western Blot (WB) performed for HIV-1 but did not have a previous positive EIA for HIV, the indeterminate WB means nothing. It's just another example of the wrong test being ordered by an incompetent (or careless) physician. The next step is not to freak out, but to have your friend retest with the correct HIV-screening test -- an HIV-antibody test (EIA or rapid test) with reflex WB (WB performed only if the HIV-antibody test is positive). The chances are excellent that your friend is HIV negative.

  3. Use this anxiety provoking episode as a lesson that unprotected sex is not worth the potential catastrophic consequences.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob