My boy friend told me that he is HIV positive. What test should i get, is my test sufficient.

Question

Hi Dr. Bob, My boy friend told me four months back that he is HIV positive. He came to know that he is HIV positive though a PCR test. His antibody tests were negative. He was saying that he was using immunosuppressants for a longterm for a transplant which he had. We used to have unprotected sex some times. I tested for an HIV 1 and HIV 2 antibody test recently and the elisa test result is negative. Our last exposure was 7 months ago.

Can i believe my antibody test result or do i also need to get a PCR test, since my boy friend was on immunosuppressants. I was never on any immunosuppressants.

Answer

Hi,

If your HIV-1 and HIV-2 ELISA (antibody) tests are negative out to seven months from the time of your last exposure, your results are definitive and conclusive. You are HIV negative. No additional testing is warranted. In particular, you do not need a PCR test. Your boyfriend needed it because his immunosuppressant therapy apparently depressed his ability to make specific antibodies, including anti-HIV antibodies. Therefore he needed an HIV test that didn't rely on antibody production such as the PCR test for diagnosis. You, on the other hand, are not on immunosuppressant therapy; therefore, your HIV-antibody tests are accurate.

Dr. Bob