Gray line in HIV Test Kit

Question

I was tested yesterday at a social hygiene clinic. I was in the room when the medtech did the tests. She used like 4 strips but she said that the reagent was not working properly. After she changed the reagent, here's what happened:

  1. Strip 1 - bold red line in Control; no line in 2; faint gray line in 1
  2. Strip 2 - same as strip 1; maybe more faint gray line

She allowed me to see the kit and she mentioned that it was her first time to see such result. According to her, from what she knew, positive tests should also show a bold red line in 1.

I requested her then to repeat the tests. She brought a new strip, took a blood sample, and put the reagent. This time, I could see while she was doing it. It was the most terrifying wait in my entire life. The result:

  1. Strip 3 - bold red line in Control; no line in 1 and 2.

So because of that, my result was NON-REACTIVE.

But of course, the anxiety and the stress still kicked in! My last contact was exactly 11 days ago, and I considered it to be of low risk. The next encounter would be like 3 mos ago... In my most recent exposure, no anal penetration happened, although I remember that my partner was grinding the tip of his penis in my "hole." But no penetration happened. Only oral sex (unprotexted)... Then he ejaculated on my stomach. But I just wiped them off (and made sure nothing goes anywhere, hopefully).

If my test was truly negative at that time, what could have caused the gray line. Is it a common occurrence? I know I should get tested again in the next weeks but the wait is truly unbearable.

Answer

Hi The sexual experience you described does not carry a risk. The testing question, yes it can sometimes happen that a test is not run correctly and that was the lines mean to show if it has been run correctly or not. So having the repeated test was smart and showed the correct result.

The standard is to receive the first test at 3 weeks and then again at 3 months.

Be well and stay safe, Shannon