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Rapid Test "Positive" but WB "Indeterminate" 9 mont...
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Rapid Test "Positive" but WB "Indeterminate" 9 months after exposure?

I had unprotected sex (drunken stupid mistake) with a man who only told me after that he was HIV positive - this was back in February. About two weeks later I became very ill and was checked into the hospital 4 weeks after exposure. My WBC and platelet’s were very low and caused concern... they tested for everything they could think of including HIV (negative) rapid, all hepatitis etc. They did a "White Blood Cell Treatment" and gave me IV antibiotics which both made me feel much much better.

Since this, I have had a persistent cough with thick yellow sputum and a general sick feeling. The doctors have pumped me full of anti-biotics for months - I was once again checked into the hospital mid October as my fever spiked, I couldn't keep anything down, and my WBC, platelet’s, CD4/8 ratio, and my RBC were all way too low... They did a bone marrow biopsy and other tests - it was finally nailed down to pneumonia for months - HOWEVER, one of the final tests was another HIV test (after 10 days in the hospital). This time the Elisa came back reactive for either HIV 1 or HIV 2. A confirmation Western Blot was done with "Indeterminate" results with the following:

p18 absent
p24 equivocal
p31 equivocal
p51 absent
p55 equivocal
p65 present
gp120 present
gp160 present
gp40 absent
gp41 equivocal

So of course I am freaking out a little but it seems like ant-biotics make me feel better so I am wondering if there was a chance of a cross-reaction on the Elisa test? and after 9 months would the WB have been positive if it was positive? Why so many "Equivocal" bands? I know I need to go back and retest within 3 to 6 months but wondering what my risk factor is here....what else could this be?

Thank you for any advice (I know unprotected sex is a bad idea!), help or suggestions.
Welcome to our Forum.  I will try to provide some guidance but to completely resolve this you will need more testing.  I also understand how upsetting results of the sort you describe can be.

It is most likely that you results are falsely positive.  You had a negative HIV test about two months after your exposure of concern and results at that time are typically definitive.  Further, as you were told on our Community site, if you had acquired HIV 8 months ago, you Western Blot result would not be indeterminate but would be positive at this time. On the other hand, most falsely positive ELISA or Rapid HIV tests do also have accompanying indeterminate Western blots.

I suspect your test is false positive may be related to the illness you mentioned.  This is one of the few places in which we recommend PCR testing.  A negative PCR test at this time will prove that your rapid test was falsely positive.

I hope this comment is helpful.  I suggest you seek the help of an infectious diseases specialist to work this out. EWH
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
Seattle, WA
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University of Alabama at Birmingham
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