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HomeAnswersHIV/AIDS specialisthivI got tested for HIV, and the results came back negative.

Is the presence of a serum control band on the western blot test indicative of HIV infection?

The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At July 14, 2022
Reviewed AtDecember 19, 2023

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I have taken a HIV test due to a recent possible exposure. The incident happened 60 days ago. So, I did a rapid HIV test. It is negative. I also did a Western blot test. HIV 1 and HIV 2 are negative, but the serum control band is present. What does it mean? Is it indicative of an HIV infection? Please clarify.

Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

I can understand your concern.

It is good that the HIV rapid and Western blot tests are negative after 60 days of exposure. The chances of HIV tests coming positive later are almost negligible. But it is better to go for an HIV antibodies test after three months of exposure in a reliable laboratory to have conclusive results and to get relief from anxiety. The control band has to be there in the test for comparison, and there is nothing to worry about it.

Thank you.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thank you for your reply.

I had the following symptoms after 40 days of exposure.

  1. Body itching, which is continuing.
  2. Small blisters and sores occurring frequently on the penis foreskin and inner area of foreskin. After three days, it gets healed and then occurs again. Mouth ulcers (particularly on the tongue).
  3. Feeling a chill in my body.
  4. Rashes in my feet's thumb toe (it got cured within a week after I applied cream).
  5. Cold and slight fever. After taking pills, it got cured in four days.
  6. Burning feeling in the anus area.

Are the above symptoms indicative of an HIV infection? Kindly help.

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I can understand your concern.

These are non-specific symptoms. These need not be due to HIV. HIV is diagnosed by tests. As of now, the HIV test results are negative. The chances of HIV tests coming positive later are almost negligible. So go for an HIV antibodies test after three months of exposure to be relieved of anxiety and to get conclusive results.

Thank you.

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

Thank you for your reply.

As per our local doctor's advice, I did the following tests for body itch-

  1. Complete blood count (CBC).
  2. Absolute eosinophil count (AEC).
  3. IgE levels.
  4. C-reactive protein (CRP).

They told me that AEC is in the border and IgE is very high. Also, the RBC count is a little high. Is this related to HIV infection? I am attaching laboratory reports for your kind reference. Please refer to the attachment and advise me.

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I can understand your concern.

The values of absolute eosinophil count (AEC) or immunoglobulin E (IgE) indicate some allergic focus. You must continue treatment as per your treating doctor's advice. It is unlikely to be due to HIV. Tests diagnose HIV. It is negative so far. Just go for an HIV antibodies test after three months of exposure to have conclusive results and be relieved of anxiety.

Thank you.

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

Thank you for your reply.

Yesterday I met the local doctor regarding my laboratory report. The doctor said that the IgE (immunoglobulin) is very high, and CRP is in the border. The doctor has given medicines for ten days. I have come for a vacation to my home country. I am working abroad. I need to go back in a week. So, I want to do HIV rapid test on the 80th day. Unfortunately, I cannot take the test at my workplace. May I know if the rapid test is an antibody test? Shall I consider the 80th-day result as conclusive? Is CRP test result related to HIV infection? Please advise me, doctor.

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Thank you for the query.

For conclusive results, it is better to go for an HIV antibodies test in a reliable laboratory after three months or 90 days of exposure. CRP (C-reactive protein) appears to be within normal limits as per the report (attachments removed to protect the patient's identity). It is raised in many infections and need not be due to HIV.

Thank you.

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

I did an HIV test again on the 90th day of exposure. Also, I did the IgE, CRP (C- reactive protein), CBC (complete blood count), and AEC (absolute eosinophil count) tests. Herewith I am attaching the laboratory reports. Kindly refer to the attachment and advise, please.

Thank you.

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I can understand your concern.

It is conclusive if the HIV antibodies test taken after three months of exposure is negative. You are free from HIV infection, provided there is no further risk of exposure. There is no need to worry about HIV. IgE is elevated and it can be due to some allergic disease for which you can consult your doctor.

Thank you.

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

I hope you are aware of my history based on our earlier conversation. HIV tests done on the 60th day, 80th day, and the 90th day were negative. Also, on the 80th day, I did VDRL (Venereal Disease Research Laboratory), HBS (sickle hemoglobin), and HCV (Hepatitis C virus) tests all of which were negative. Also, I have allergic disease and I am taking medicines for two months. For the past two weeks I am noticing a red spot in my penis foreskin. Today, I saw two spots similar to the previous one. Why is it occurring? Please advise. I have attached the image for your kind reference.

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Thank you for the query.

If the HIV antibodies test is negative after three months of exposure, then it is conclusive provided there is no further risk of exposure. There is no need for further HIV tests. The lesion on the penis may be due to irritation, friction, or allergy. Avoid overcleaning or use of harsh soaps. Clean the area with warm water twice daily. Continue your medications as given for your allergy by your treating doctor.

I hope I have resolved your queries. Do get back if you have any further queries.

Thank you.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Basti Bharatesh Devendra
Dr. Basti Bharatesh Devendra

Dermatology

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