Positive Elisa, Negative Western Blot, Dr wants to do a HIV Viral Load

Question

I tested positve for HIV with 2 pregnancies on the ELISA and both were negative Western Blot. I thought if the Western Blot was negative I was truly negative. But my Dr. did a HIV Viral Load today. If the Viral load is positive could it be a false positive? The only time I could have come in contact with it was a minor needle stick that barely broke the skin almost 2 yrs ago when I worked at the hospital. I have been married for 5 years, and tested negative on both the ELISA and Western Blots 4 years ago with my first pregnancy. I dont know what to think.

Answer

Hello,

You are correct! A positive screening HIV test followed by a negative Western Blot test is considered a negative HIV test! Your HIV-acquisition risk is essentially nonexistent, which would be consistent with your negative HIV test results. Pregnancy can result in the production of nonspecific cross-reacting proteins that can cause a false-positive HIV-antibody screening test. Although the quantitative plasma HIV RNA viral load test was not necessary, I'm confident the result will be undetectable. If it is detectable, yes, it could be a positive and confirmatory testing would then need to be done.

Dr. Bob