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negative to positive tests

I'm in such a horrible situation right now.

I recently got a preliminary positive elisa. Yesterday, my doctor called and told me that the follow up western blot was negative.

My exposure was about 2 years ago (give or take a month). I have had NO other exposures since then. I tested using rapid tests 3 times before this last positive result (5,8,12 months post exposure), and all those were negative.

I understand that a western blot is the gold standard, but can it be wrong?
Can it miss and infection if its been too long since exposure?
Should I retest?

14 Responses
Avatar universal
If you had no exposure after your last rapid test, it's highly likely the Elisa was a false positive. And furthermore, your negative western blot confirms this. You are conclusively negative. Use condoms always. Take care.
Avatar universal
Hi Sonia, thank you for the advice. however, seeing that you yourself went through an hiv scare, I don't think you are able to give honorable advice.

Can one of the long time experts please comment? Teak or nursegirl?
366749 tn?1544695265
Response from Sonia was correct. Your WB test is conclusive and "overrides" the false positive Elisa reported earlier. You do not have HIV
Avatar universal
all the more my advice is honorable. I researched extensively during my scare. Teak and nursegirl are not available all the time. Like Diver58 has reaffirmed, your result is conclusively negative. please move on. take care.
Avatar universal
theres no way a western blot can miss an infection that an elisa caught? is the window period for a western blot different from an elisa?
Avatar universal
The WB is the royal flush of HIV tests,if it's negative then you don't have HIV--it's that simple.
Avatar universal
it seems a bit more complicated than that. A positive result is not simple by any means..there must have been a reason the test (a LAB based one, at that) was reactive..
Avatar universal
It's really not that more complicated then that.
366749 tn?1544695265
There is always a possibility of "false positive" Elisa test, no matter how low it is, but it is there. This is the reason, a western blot test is always ordered whenever there is an Elisa comes positive. This golden test is done to confirm a real positive and rule out any false positive
Avatar universal
The window period for a western blot isnt different from an elisa? Is it okay it was done like 2 years after the exposure?
Also, I had both an hiv1 and hiv2 western blot done. there was no bands. If I was infected, would at least 1 of the western blots be intermediate?

lastly, are rapid tests reliable? Would the 3 rapid tests i had done show up positive if there were antibodies present? How come those only use a small drop of blood, whereas for the lab ones, they draw a whole tube full?
Avatar universal
No no different window period.
Yes, once you are positive you always test positive. Your not infected no reason to speculate anything further.

Rapid are meant to be quick so a smaller sample testing method was developed. Lab requires different testing procedure.

Accept it, you don't have HIV and you have the test to prove it.
Avatar universal
Last question...If a loved one received these results, would you recommend for them to retest?
Avatar universal
No, I would be very thankful that the WB came out negative.
Avatar universal
Thank you again for all your help and reassurance. i'll try to get my mind past it..
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