MedHelp.org will cease operations on May 31, 2024. It has been our pleasure to join you on your health journey for the past 30 years. For more info, click here.
Avatar universal



I'm a 39 year old male.

Back in 2013 I had a no risk exposure (protected vaginal sex - unprotected oral sex with a csw).

Months outside the window period, I did an HIV Test just to ease my mind.

The doctor told me that my ELISA test was positive, so they sent my blood sample for an Antigen Western Blot test which came back negative.

They told me to repeat the above procedure after 15 days and I got the same results (ELISA positive and western blot negative).

9 years past and I found out that I may have gastric malt lymphoma.  

This is caused by Helicobacter pylori, which I found out that I have, and from HIV or Hepatitis.

Yesterday I got tested for Hepatitis B (negative), Hepatitis C (negative) and HIV which came back positive again (it was an ELISA test like the previous time) and they sent it for a confirmatory test. I'm waiting for the results.

Is it possible that back in 2013 the 2 negative western blot tests, that I received after the 2 positive ELISA tests, were false negative tests?

If not, will I continue to get tested positive in ELISA tests even though I'm negative?

I had no other risk exposure since 2013 and only had sex with the same female partner which was tested negative at the begining of our relationship, and I'm her only partner since then as well.

Please let me know your thoughts.

2 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
3191940 tn?1717500602
I'm not sure why you keep testing positive on ELISA, but
1) You didn't have a risk for HIV,
2) All previous confirmatory tests have been negative - you can expect the same for this one.

Await your confirmatory results, and discuss with your doctor the reason for the multiple false positive ELISA results.  If you had untreated HIV for 9 years, you would test positive on every possible test.
Helpful - 1
Thanks a lot for your answer!

"If you had untreated HIV for 9 years, you would test positive on every possible test"
Yes that's true, but I don't know the result of the confirmatory test yet, I only know that I have a positive ELISA again.
I never got tested since 2013 because I was told that I don't have HIV, so I had no other results.

The true question is if there's a chance that the western blot tests that came back negative in 2013 where wrong.
I'm asking because a lot of years past till then, medicine has evolved and new methods are used for confirmation now.

I'm probably overeacting, but a positive ELISA is always alarming, even though I knew there was a posibility to have a false positive again, since that happened the previous 2 times.

Unfortunately, there's nothing else we can tell you while you await the results of your confirmatory test.  The WB was very reliable back in 2013.
Thanks a lot for your answer.
I really hope that you're right.
Sorry for bothering you again.
I just forgot to mention that after the positive ELISA, I received a negative western blot AND a negative rna test..
The reason that I'm telling you this, is because I'm reading that the western blot is note used anymore because there were some issues with it, which made me more anxious.
The RNA test is conclusive.  You do not have HIV.
I'll try to think possitive.
Hi again,

The result of the test was "doubtful".

They used Abbott Ag p24 + ab I/II.

First of all, what do they mean "doubtful"? Do they mean that ELISA came back positive and Abbott came back negative, so the result is "doubtful". If so, there's no problem since I have a history with false ELISA tests.

Another interpertation is that Abbott came back indeterminate. If that's the case, is it possible to have HIV for 9 years and not get a positive result?

Let me remind you that I had no real exposure (protected veginal sex and unprotected oral sex) and was tested outside the window period (more than 3 months) positive on ELISA and negative  on western blot twice (+ negative RNA test).

What do you think about the "doubtful" test result?

Any help would be appreciated
3191940 tn?1717500602
You would need to ask the lab or your doctor.  I've never seen the term "doubtful" on an HIV test.

I don't know why you're even thinking about the ELISA test.  Your RNA test is conclusive and you don't have HIV.  There isn't anything more anyone here can say about your events, since you didn't have a risk for HIV, and there's nothing to add about your test results since you've tested conclusively negative.
Helpful - 0
Hi again,

I talked to the doctor on the phone.

He told me that all 3 tests (ELISA, Abbott and another one) came back positive and it's just their policy to not mention it officialy.

I gave him info about my history and my past tests and he told me that he believes that something in my blood affects the tests and that I sould do a pcr test just to ease my mind.

I'll do the pcr one last time, just to close this chapter and move on without second thoughts.


" I have a history with false ELISA tests." <Since you didn't have any risk you can't have hiv; therefore you can only mean false positives - without a risk, you are negative so you are not having false negatives. It sounds like your doc has pinpointed the cause of the false positives. I hope you don't do any more worrying.

I would take Curfew's advice and forget about doing any more testing since the RNA is conclusive - and more importantly because there was nothing to test for anyway.

Thanks a lot for your answer.

Yes, I mean false positives.

I know that everything you say is correct, but anxiety is a very difficult opponent, so I did a pcr test, because I wouldn't be able to sleep otherwise.

I'll receive my results on Monday and I really hope to see the word "negative" with my own eyes and relax.
Hello @Jimmy800. Did you get your result? How was it? Just a little curious because this is the first time I’m hearing this kind of story. Thanks!
Also, are you in the process of taking ART? How come your test shows positive and your body doesn’t seem like to react (if ever you’re really positive). Thank you again.

You are reading content posted in the HIV Prevention Community

Top HIV Answerers
366749 tn?1544695265
Karachi, Pakistan
370181 tn?1716862802
Arlington, WA
Learn About Top Answerers
Popular Resources
Condoms are the most effective way to prevent HIV and STDs.
PrEP is used by people with high risk to prevent HIV infection.
Can I get HIV from surfaces, like toilet seats?
Can you get HIV from casual contact, like hugging?
Frequency of HIV testing depends on your risk.
Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) may help prevent HIV infection.