I would like some advice, please regarding HIV testing. 10 days following a sexual encounter, (protected penetrative sex, unprotected oral sex) I was tested at my local GUM clinic. Although the lady from my encounter tested negative, mine came back as weakly reactive (fourth generation test). I retested which was now 21 days from the encounter and the result was exactly the same. The clinic sent some blood away for a viral load test which came back as negative/undetectable. Four and a bit weeks (eight weeks since the initial encounter) later, I returned for the follow-up blood test which, as I was advised, was weakly reactive again. This time the clinic sent some blood to a lab abroad for a confirmatory test which came back negative. What are your thoughts on this? Given that my results from the fourth generation test are the same over an eight-week period and viral load negative and whatever test they did abroad was negative should I be considered all clear? I cannot seem to shake this doubt that I have.
Welcome to icliniq.com.
I have noted your concern.
After an indeterminate or weakly positive HIV screening test (usually due to cross-reacting antibodies), the second confirmatory test should be a different yet more specific test, such as a western blot. Western blot is 99.9 % specific, which means it reliably identifies 999 out of 1000 HIV-negative samples. A negative result on a confirmatory test reliably rules out HIV. So, you are HIV-negative.
Can you enquire what the confirmatory test was? Was it a western blot?
Thank you for the reply.
I hope you can offer me further reassurance as I am going out of my mind with worry and stress still as I have had further tests since my original question. I am unsure what the test method was at the eight-week mark, but as it took seven days I am guessing it was the WB. Please see below my timeline of tests and results:
Surely, if I had had HIV, the 8-week confirmatory test would have been positive, not negative? The 5-month Insti would have been positive, not negative, and whatever confirmatory test the private clinic did would have been positive, not indeterminate. Can it be that my blood just reacts to all the antibody tests and that I am just worrying myself stupid, or do you think that given my test history, I could be HIV positive? Would a PCR RNA test be categorically conclusive at this point?
Welcome back to icliniq.com.
A couple of further questions, if I may. Given that the private clinic I went to after five months were able to do a confirmatory test the same day as the standard test, does this rule out that they used a WB test? I was under the impression that a WB is much more labor-intensive and took several days. Can I really feel confident in my negative status if after a negative Rapid-INSTI a more thorough lab test came back as indeterminate?
Welcome back to icliniq.com.
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