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Author Topic: Two rapid tests: 1st pos, 2nd indeterminate. help please.  (Read 4369 times)

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Offline loop78

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Two rapid tests: 1st pos, 2nd indeterminate. help please.
« on: May 14, 2008, 07:25:54 PM »
Hi everyone,

I'm a 29 years old gay male, and I think I may be infected.

Around a month ago I had some flue-like symptoms for a couple of weeks (sore throat first, swollen lymph nodes around I week afterwards, I might have had some mild fever also, I'm not really sure) and I became worried I might be suffering from ARS. I had also some symptoms not usually associated with ARS, as irritated gums and sensitivity to citric and acids in general. The symptoms were consistent with the timing of my last sexual encounter (around 2 weeks before).

Regarding my sexual activity, in the last 4 years (I had a negative test 4 years ago) I have engaged in the following:

- Unprotected oral sex, both ways. 2 times including ejaculation in the mouth.
- Protected anal sex, both ways. However sometimes, before actual intercourse, I may have had my partner penis inside me without a condom for 15 seconds at the most.
- I had also unprotected receptive anal sex within a long term relationship around 4 years ago, and though I know this is the activity which is most likely, given my record, to have infected me, I think that would be really difficult. My partner at that time had very little experience, having had only 3 sexual partners before, all of them women, and is not promiscuous at all.

I decided to wait so the test results could be relevant, and 7 weeks after that last encounter, though I know the window period is considered to be 13 weeks, I decided to take the test anyway, as free rapid tests were being offered close to where I live (this was just hours ago). It consisted in a drop of blood dropped in a one use strip.

The test came out reactive (positive). I had a second test done immediately afterwards, and it came out indeterminate (that's what they told me, I don't know if that kind of test can come out really indeterminate or just neg/pos: the first strip had two red lines, the second just one).

I have an appointment for the regular laboratory test that should confirm whether I'm positive or negative.

My question is: what are the chances, having had one positive and one indeterminate result with one of those rapid tests, that I'm actually negative? I know the only way to know for sure is testing, but while I wait for the results any information you can provide me with helps a lot.

Thanks in advance for your support.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Two rapid tests: 1st pos, 2nd indeterminate. help please.
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2008, 09:26:22 PM »
Your wanting some reassurance is understandable but honestly, only the forthcoming test result is going to give you a definitive answer.

Of course you and I are hoping you're going to test negative this time. If you don't we'll deal with that if and when you get to that. Meantime try and stay as productively busy as you can and the waiting time will pass more quickly than you may imagine possible.

Fingers crossed for you. Keep us posted.

Cheers,
Andy Velez

Offline loop78

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Re: Two rapid tests: 1st pos, 2nd indeterminate. help please.
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2008, 09:28:54 AM »
Thanks for your answer, Andy.

Today I went to have a real ELISA/WB test done.

I'm somewhat less anxious now, after talking to the doctor who ordered my tests. There were some things she said that made think the chances are not so heavily against me as I thought:

- First of all, she said I should take the rapid tests with a pinch of salt, that despite they are supposed to have a 99,7% specificity, in real world circumstances they are nearer to 97%.
- She also said that given that the two tests did not come out positive, the possibility of a false positive was a bit stronger.
- She told me, given the tests results and my sexual history, that if I turned out to be really positive the most probable scenario is that test results were that way because I was still seroconverting. That gives me some mental peace, because I know exactly what I did in the sexual encounter which would have infected me, and the risk is relatively small.
- She also told me the symptoms I described as a possible ARS did not completely fit, as my neck lymph nodes became swollen one day, and after day an a half with antibiotics were back to normal.
- Last, but not least, she also said that those symptoms could have been caused by a mono infection, other virus or even syphilis, and if that were the case, it could have provoked a false positive with the rapid test.

I will go for my results next Wednesday, though maybe the WB is not yet ready and I'll have to go back on Friday.

Anyway, no matter what the outcome of this is I have learned a couple of things about safe sex and I'll deal with it with a positive (no pun intended) attitude.

I'll keep you updated.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2008, 10:55:35 AM by loop78 »

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Two rapid tests: 1st pos, 2nd indeterminate. help please.
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2008, 10:39:42 AM »
Good move on your part. Things are in a better perspective now. Good luck on your result next week. We'll be waiting to hear back from you.

Cheers,
Andy Velez

Offline loop78

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Re: Two rapid tests: 1st pos, 2nd indeterminate. help please.
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2008, 05:33:41 AM »
Well, it's friday and I still don't have the WB results. They did another Elisa, which came back positive again, but the WB is not ready. They were supposed to be ready for today, but when I arrived to my doctor's office they told me the WB will not be done till next thursday.

I'm pretty psyched to accept a positive WB result, because after all I have had two different elisas come back positive, but I would like to know for sure before making some moves. What puzzles me is that I believe my chances of being infected were extremely low (I checked with my ex boyfriend, the only one with which I had unprotected sex, and he is negative), but chances are just that, chances, so I'm more than ready to assume I took mines and lost.

There's an added bonus to my situation. I live in Europe and I've been awarded an scholarship to to follow graduate studies in USA. However, if my positive is confirmed I face the possibility of being expelled from USA if it were found out, which is a big no-no, as everyone in my work circle would become aware. I know it's a very small risk, but I've had enough risks for quite a long time, thanx. ;-) Besides, if the positive is confirmed, I don't know if the best move after just having found out would be to move to a different country, were I know no one and have no social network whatsoever. So I need to know the WB results before resigning, and my deadline for answering the universities' offers will have expired by next thursday.

So here are my questions.

- Do two positive Elisas rule out the chance of a final negative / indeterminate WB?
- Does the intensity of the positive Elisa result affect the chances of it being a false positive, or it does only rule out the chance of recent seroconversion?
- Do you think it would be a good move to try to find a private clinic which can provide me a WB result earlier than next thursday?

Thanks in advance for your attention! :-)

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Two rapid tests: 1st pos, 2nd indeterminate. help please.
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2008, 05:43:54 AM »
High Loop,

I've been following your thread with some interest. I'm just trying to get another expert to review your latest post.

Please hold the line. ;)

MtD

Offline Ann

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    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Two rapid tests: 1st pos, 2nd indeterminate. help please.
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2008, 05:57:10 AM »
Loop,

Yes, under the circumstances, if I were you I'd try to find somewhere that could give me the WB results sooner.

There are some conditions that can cause false positive ELISAs, notably auto-immune disorders and pregnancy. (I trust you're not pregnant.) So no, two positive ELISAs do not necessarily rule out a negative WB.

If by "intensity of the positive ELISA" refers to how many bands came up positive, then yes, the more bands, the less likely it's a false positive.

As for travel abroad, it still may be possible, especially if you are dealing with a new infection. If you don't need medications yet, which is likely, you don't have to tell anyone.

You mentioned in your first post that you've engaged in dipping and this is more of a risk than is often recognised. While frottage, where there is no penetration, isn't a risk, being anally penetrated, even without ejaculation, is a definite risk.

Check your PMs.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline loop78

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Re: Two rapid tests: 1st pos, 2nd indeterminate. help please.
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2008, 07:11:26 AM »
Thanx to both of you, Matty and Ann.

I will try to find some place which can give me results sooner, that way I might be able to still keep my scholarship, if I were finally negative after all.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to minimize the risk of dipping, I know it's a definite risk. However it was pretty brief (15 - 20 seconds at the most) and, though I may be wrong, I think the risk involved, though real, must be fairly lower than that of full unprotected receptive anal sex. Anyway, I'm responsible for my actions, so I'm not trying to chicken myself out of responsibility.

What I believe might be causing a false Elisa positive is what I think was a mono infection I had around 6 weeks ago. The more I find out about mono and ARS, the more I'm convinced it was mono (one week and a half of very mild sore throat, then sore throat for a week and neck lymph nodes, enlarged spleen... etc.). Even if it caused some Elisa reaction it does not rule out I'm positive after all, but hey, at least it means my immune system still functions quite well, as I had a normal recovery (trying to see the bright side here).

Thanx again, I'll keep you updated ;-)

PS: PMs checked and answered.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2008, 07:38:51 AM by loop78 »

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Two rapid tests: 1st pos, 2nd indeterminate. help please.
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2008, 07:54:34 AM »
Loop,

Given your sexual history (unprotected anal) and your recent test results I think there's a good chance you're going to test positive for HIV infection. We don't know for sure yet but please keep us updated.

You can rest assured that we're here to support you through this difficult time.

MtD

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Two rapid tests: 1st pos, 2nd indeterminate. help please.
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2008, 07:58:31 AM »
Hi,

I've been following your reports. I definitely support your going elsewhere to get an earlier result. You've gone through enough waiting time. You also seem to have a very balanced and clearheaded reaction to dealing with the situation which is impressive. You're going to be ok no matter which way the result goes and we will be here to support you IF you test positive. Which I hasten to add is by no means a certainty. I'd say the odds at this point are leaning in the direction of positive, but that's only a guess so let's keep our fingers crossed and see what happens next.

We'll be waiting to hear further. All the best.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2008, 08:01:16 AM by Andy Velez »
Andy Velez

Offline thunter34

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  • His name is Carl.
Re: Two rapid tests: 1st pos, 2nd indeterminate. help please.
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2008, 09:45:52 AM »
Quote
There's an added bonus to my situation. I live in Europe and I've been awarded an scholarship to to follow graduate studies in USA. However, if my positive is confirmed I face the possibility of being expelled from USA if it were found out, which is a big no-no, as everyone in my work circle would become aware. I know it's a very small risk, but I've had enough risks for quite a long time, thanx. ;-)  So I need to know the WB results before resigning, and my deadline for answering the universities' offers will have expired by next thursday.



As for travel abroad, it still may be possible, especially if you are dealing with a new infection. If you don't need medications yet, which is likely, you don't have to tell anyone.

I can't help but feel this statement from Ann needs to be underscored.

Quote
Besides, if the positive is confirmed, I don't know if the best move after just having found out would be to move to a different country, were I know no one and have no social network whatsoever.

For what it's worth...you can click us up here in the States as well as anywhere else, and behind the profiles are real people spread out all over the place here in the states who can help point you toward resources in whatever area you are going to be located in.  Yes, it might be kinda scary at first, but you can and will find sources of support here if you need them - and we are already here right off the bat, so there ya go.  I understand your feelings of shakiness right now, but I really would like to encourage you to think seriously before giving up any great opportunities for yourself right away. 

PM me as well if you need.

Tim
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline loop78

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  • Posts: 147
Re: Two rapid tests: 1st pos, 2nd indeterminate. help please.
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2008, 10:20:11 AM »
I'm posting this question first due to time constrains, I will edit it afterwards to answer the rest of your posts.

I talked to another clinic which have offered me both a p24 antigen and a antibody test (I'm afraid both of them are Elisas again, screening instead of confirmatory tests). I have an appointment in two hours and the I'd have the results in 3 more hours (I did not like the way the doctor talked to me over the phone). He also offered a mono test. Would the results be conclusive or I'd be still have to wait for the WB for a definite answer? I don't want to waste money and be more anxious by adding more tests if the results are not gonna be 100% conclusive.

Edit:
Quote
Given your sexual history (unprotected anal) and your recent test results I think there's a good chance you're going to test positive for HIV infection. We don't know for sure yet but please keep us updated.

You can rest assured that we're here to support you through this difficult time.

Thanks for the support, Matty. I know the results point towards a positive, but I'm determined to handle it the best way I know.

Quote
I've been following your reports. I definitely support your going elsewhere to get an earlier result. You've gone through enough waiting time. You also seem to have a very balanced and clearheaded reaction to dealing with the situation which is impressive. You're going to be ok no matter which way the result goes and we will be here to support you IF you test positive. Which I hasten to add is by no means a certainty. I'd say the odds at this point are leaning in the direction of positive, but that's only a guess so let's keep our fingers crossed and see what happens next.

Thanks a lot, Andy! I've tried looking for other places, but it seems difficult to find somewhere where they offer a real confirmatory test and not another screening one. It means a lot that you think I'm having a good reaction, whether I'm positive (as it seems) or negative is now out of my control, but being able to act in a rational manner gives me back some control, and that sensation is reassuring.

Quote
For what it's worth...you can click us up here in the States as well as anywhere else, and behind the profiles are real people spread out all over the place here in the states who can help point you toward resources in whatever area you are going to be located in.  Yes, it might be kinda scary at first, but you can and will find sources of support here if you need them - and we are already here right off the bat, so there ya go.  I understand your feelings of shakiness right now, but I really would like to encourage you to think seriously before giving up any great opportunities for yourself right away.

I've considered taking the scholarship anyway, but it's a bit scary... I would have to accept the university offer before knowing my cd count or viral load, and resigning later might mean I would have to pay all the expenses already paid. I have not yet decided it for sure, I will give it some thinking anyway. Thanks for the PM offer!!
« Last Edit: May 23, 2008, 10:42:45 AM by loop78 »

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Two rapid tests: 1st pos, 2nd indeterminate. help please.
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2008, 06:59:42 AM »
Why on earth would you have to quit school if you were diagnosed HIV+? Life doesn't stop because one is infected with HIV. If you have a chance to go to school by all means go.

Offline loop78

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Re: Two rapid tests: 1st pos, 2nd indeterminate. help please.
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2008, 07:41:05 AM »
Why on earth would you have to quit school if you were diagnosed HIV+? Life doesn't stop because one is infected with HIV. If you have a chance to go to school by all means go.

Of course life does not stop! But poz foreigners are banned from the States (though I know the chances of being found out are low), I would have to go without even knowing my cd and viral load numbers and how well do I manage it on a emotional level, and the Universities that have accepted me are not exactly my first choice ;-)

The problem would not be being diagnosed HIV+, but the timing.

Besides, it wouldn't be quiting. I'm currently working and very happy with my job, accepting the scholarship would in fact mean quiting my job.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2008, 07:43:33 AM by loop78 »

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Two rapid tests: 1st pos, 2nd indeterminate. help please.
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2008, 08:55:16 AM »
What happened when you went for your test yesterday?
Andy Velez

Offline loop78

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Re: Two rapid tests: 1st pos, 2nd indeterminate. help please.
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2008, 07:55:56 PM »
What happened when you went for your test yesterday?

I didn't go. I could only find more Elisas (regular antibody and p24 antigen), and really expensive. It seems that if I want a 100% confirmatory test I'll have to wait till Thursday.

It pisses me off, it seems private clinics around here just wanna take advantage of people's anxiety. They only do Elisas, and then if they find a positive they send people for a confirmation to the very same public center I went to in the first place. But Elisa's are cheap, they charge them really high, and anxious people are an easy target. It's sad, really.

I have a pretty intensive week ahead, at least that'll keep my mind occupied.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Two rapid tests: 1st pos, 2nd indeterminate. help please.
« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2008, 08:32:53 AM »
OK. We'll keep our fingers crossed and be waiting to hear from you. Meantime keeping busy is a good plan.

Cheers,
Andy Velez

Offline loop78

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Re: Two rapid tests: 1st pos, 2nd indeterminate. help please.
« Reply #17 on: May 29, 2008, 09:48:15 AM »
Got bad news, guys... See you on the other forum ;-)

 


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