HIV - Prevention Expert Forum
Hook / Prozone Effect
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This forum is limited to prevention of HIV and to safe sex in general. All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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Avatar universal
Hook / Prozone Effect
Hi there Dr

I really hate to sound like a worry wart - which I'm sure you hear a lot of on here but I was wondering if you could put my mind at rest.  

About 10 years ago (2002) while an irresponsible student I had a couple of encounters with men of unknown status.  Fast forward 10 years and I am happily married (we have always used condoms as birth control).  Anyway we recently decided to start a family so I went and got checked out.  My antibody hiv test came back negative so I was happy and moved on.

However now that I'm obsessing with hpts i have discovered the hook effect and how it can lead to false negatives on elisa tests.  I have read that syphillis tests can be affected but havent seen anything about HiV tests.  

Can you reassure me please that an antibody test 10 years after possible risk is accurate and this hook effect thing is nothing to worry about?

Thank you in advance.
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300980 tn?1194933000
Please believe your test. There are no descriptions of a prozone-like effect with the HIV blood tests.  The techniques for measuring anti-HIV antibodies are quite different from those of measuring syphilis antibodies.  Believe your test results and forget about any past mis-steps you may have had.  EWH
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Avatar universal
Thank you Dr Hook, that's all I needed to hear
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