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INDETERMINATE HIV TEST .....HELP SCARED!!!
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INDETERMINATE HIV TEST .....HELP SCARED!!!

I am a 24 year old hetro sexual male (tested negative 1 year ago). Let me first start off by saying I know that im a complete idiot for having unprotected sex, but somehow in both instances i was convinced I did not need a condom.  In the past 3 months or so i have been with 2 different women unprotected. The first was a short term girlfriend that did test negative in feb first encounter was 4/30 (relationship lasted a few weeks after that and she said in between that time she was with her previous bf a few times). The 2nd is my current girlfriend which the first encounter was 6/1 (was tested negative months ago and claimed was only with me since - had nausea a few weeks ago). 1st girl claims to have zero symptoms and feel fine. I started to get a wierd skin rash on my penis about a month ago. First went to the dr and he said it was not an std and gave me some antifungal cream. Its not an open sore....its flakey skin irrited skin at a bunch of different spots on my penis (tip, underneath the head, base....). I had a similar rash once before a few years ago which is strange. Also had a rash on my hands that was red bumps and i used the antifungal cream and it began to peal away (lasted 3 weeks). I also have had unexplained pain in my hip & knees for the past 6 months (comes and goes). I decided that there has to be something else wrong and requested a full test. Now I am COMPLETELY TERRIFIED after getting these INDETERMINATE results. Positive Elisa and Indeterminant Western Blot.

gp120 equivocal
p65 absent
p55 absent
p51 absent
gp41 absent
gp40 equivocal
p31 absent
p24 present
p18 absent

Elisa Reactive 1.3
WB Indeterminate


I know im not HIV positive for sure.....but I feel like I am and my life has been horrible ever since that day. They said I need to wait 4 weeks to take another test and I dont know if i can last that long. If I end of positive I dont think I will be able to deal with it. I need someone to talk to I am so scared....
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300980_tn?1194933000
I'm sorry to hear of your situation and appreciate the anxiety that must be going through your mind.  Let me start with a comment on your risk.  It is very low.  Having tested negative yourself and have had two partners is the recent past, both of whom have also tested negative within the past few months makes it most unlikely that you have HIV and, as you have concluded, that this is most likely to be a false positive test.  

I also think it is reasonable to wonder if the rash on your penis could be related to this process.  There are numerous causes of genital skin rashes.  If it is still there, I would be my advice to see a dermatologist for evaluation and suggestions for management.  While this might just be a fungal rash, it could be some other process (i.e. a non-sexually transmitted virus), other allergy, etc. Unless you have been tested already, another outside possibility from your description is that this might be syphilis although the disease is quite rare.

Finally, regarding follow-up, I would have suggested follow-up at two weeks, not 4.  If you are developing HIV antibodies they should be evident in two weeks.  The other thing to discuss with your doctors at this time is the possibility of getting a HIV PCR test.  If you are developing a positive HIV blood test, that test would be expected to be positive at this time as well

Hope this helps.  Please let us know what turns up as your evaluation continues.  Take care.  EWH
35 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Forgot to mention that the rashon my penis has lasted about 5 weeks now.
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Avatar_n_tn
Have you had experience with indeterminant test results in the past? If so what was the outcome? What can cause this?
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300980_tn?1194933000
Yes, I have had considerable experience.  The list of things that can cause interminants is long and includes other infections, drug allergies, other allergic reactions.  In addition, many peole just have them,  To try to guess the cause if not fruitful.  Sometimes they go away, sometimes they don't.  Sorry I cannot be more specific.  EWH
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Avatar_m_tn
Sorry to hear this, I could imagine it must be horrifying to see anything other than Negative. If your PCP do not provide HIV PCR test, it is available at Private MD Lab for $221.00 which takes about 4~5 days to receive result via email. I just took one last Thursday and got the result this morning. The blood sample is collected at any Labcorp location near you. Good Luck!
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Avatar_n_tn
Any guess as to what other infection could cause the peeling skin?

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Avatar_n_tn
was your test after an indeterminate test?
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Avatar_n_tn
Notices this morning i had some peeling skin on my chest. Can stress manufacture syptoms (symptoms)?
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300980_tn?1194933000
Like the equivocable test, there are enumerable causes of rash and peeling skin.  Once again, I urge you to go see a dermatologist who can examine you and comment based on his/her findings.  EWH
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Avatar_n_tn
I returned to my dr yesterday and he wanted me to take a viral load and cd4 test. I also requested to check for autoimmune diseases (ra) since i have had that unexplained hip and knee pain for the past 5 months. Could these rashes be associated with that?

Is you experience what have the majority of the inderterminate test turned out to be?
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Avatar_n_tn
CD 4 / CD 8 should tell if you indeed have HIV. Low Cd 4 and HIgh Cd 8 with inversion is 1 big indication of HIV infection.
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Avatar_n_tn
Im not sure....she said we would get a better idea if you were positive or negative without waiting the extra couple weeks. Is that right?
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Avatar_m_tn
what type of elisa test did you have
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Avatar_n_tn
Not sure which type of elisa....it was labcorp.  Already informed my ex and current gf (both said they were testing with the last 6 months). Ex said she was with her previous bf and current gf hasnt been with anyone.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for the hope I can use all I can get...
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Avatar_n_tn
It was before I was with her, so im definitly not outta the woods unfortunately .  Im gonna try but its almost impossible to keep mymind off of it.
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300980_tn?1194933000
The PCR test will be the more helpful of the two tests your doctor has ordered.

Most indeterminant tests turn out to be indeterminant, not early HIV.

And yes, your problems could reflect autoimmune diseases.  Let us know what the PCR shows please.  EWH
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Avatar_n_tn
I know you said you have experience with indeterminate tests before, but have you seen results simlar to mine? Isnt it supposed to be very bad to havfe the p24 present? Sorry for all the questions, just trying to ease my anxiety.  Thanks in advance
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300980_tn?1194933000
Sorry, this is getting beyond my realm of expertise.  Your are trying to address your anxiety with "what if" questions when unfortunaltely what you need to do is wait this out.  Sorry, you are asking probablistic questions that I cannot answer. .  EWH
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Avatar_n_tn
well so far so good i guess. CD4 count was completely normal. I guess still waiting on the viral load. Is this a good sign?
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300980_tn?1194933000
Yes, it is another good sign.

As to musing about my expertise, I have already told you the issues relating to the probability of being infected.  If you wish to analyze the relative frequency of the myriad bands which can cause false positve results, you will need to talk with an HIV molecular biologist and I am not one.  If you want to know if there can be false positves due to a single p24 band, the answer is yes..  EWH
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Avatar_n_tn
Would my cd4 count be abnormal if I was infected?
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Avatar_n_tn
My apologies if the other question was innapropraite.
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300980_tn?1194933000
If you had early infection your CD4 count would be low however this is quite variable.  

I appreciate the anxiety that this result is causing you but there is little to be done at this time until more teting is done. It is time to stop the "could it" and "what if" questions.  You need to deal with this with your doctor.  Consider and discuss the PCR test and the timing of the repeat antibody test.  The exchance over the past week has really not done much to help you.  I am going to step back until we hear further test results.  No more comments till then please.  EWH
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you very much for your insight and advice so far. I am seeing an ID specialist tommorow. Hopefully I can get some more answers with the PCR test.
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Avatar_n_tn
still waiting....first time i took it with the cd4 somehow the pcr was left out. Had to get blood taken again awaiting results its been 4 days. Pray for me...i'll keep you updated. Oh also my current partner just took a oral test yesterday and that came back negative (was first with her 2 months ago) so that was a good sign along with my cd4 count being normal.
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Avatar_n_tn
somehow labcorp/dr office managed to order the wrong test two times in a row. So I had to take it again today. I did however get some good news....both girls that i was with tested negative on their test. So Hopefully this will all be over next week and I can get some sleep : /



I have had a fungal skin rash or a yeast infection on my genitals now for about 2 months. I have tried 3 different presciption creams from the doctor and 2 presciption in pill form.....nothing has worked. I also had a few bumps on the side of my tounge. I just recently tried list last cream from my primary care dr....im waiting for the referral to go through for the derm ....waiting ***** :(. Which is why i think that its something else thats throwing off the test.......i have no idea what though. I have another appt with the infectious disease specialist again on the 19th. Last time i saw him he also had me try a 10 day supply of valtrex which did nothing (doesnt make to much sense since i tested negative for every other std but i thought I would try it anyways)
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Avatar_n_tn
so im guessing i have a yeast inefction on my genitals and my mouth (painless bumps on the side of my tounge) just tryin to figure this all out.......
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Avatar_n_tn
PCR negative
CD4 674 / 42%

Elisa cam back reactive again and indeterminant western blot. (6 weeks after initial indeterminant test). I guess something else is cross reacting.....yet to figure that out. Thats so much for all your support & info. What should I do next?? Besides see the dermatolgist.
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Avatar_n_tn
*thanks so much for all your info & support
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Avatar_n_tn
all other stds test negative. Auto immune test negative.
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300980_tn?1194933000
Glad to hear that your tests have come out to show that you do not have HIV.  I am sorry that you appear to be stuck with an indeterminant ELISA and I suspect, given the lack of change over the past 6 weeks that it is likely to stay that way.  So, what to do now.
1.  I would not try to figure out what is "causing" your FP test.  You could spend a lot of time and money without finding out.  Even if you did, what would you do about it.
2.  As you note -see a dermatologist.
3.  Move on and put thisbehind you

Again, I am pleased to hear of your result. this thread is now at its happy end.  EWH
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Avatar_m_tn
Great news Frank!  Thanks for posting.
Congrats.
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