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Author Topic: Inital Screening Poz, no antibodies found  (Read 4066 times)

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Offline dmvcc99

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Inital Screening Poz, no antibodies found
« on: February 15, 2010, 02:40:56 AM »
Forgive me if this has already been addressed.  A week and a half ago I had a regular HIV screening.  Not sure if this was ELISA or not, but my guess would be yes as it was through my general physician.  From what my Dr. told me, the initial screening showed "reaction" and was positive but no HIV antibodies were found in my blood.  I am aware of the "window" period and that this can happen.  However, my Dr. feels that signs point to a false positive due to my history.... Recently started dating a new girl that also recently had a HIV screening that was negative.  First had sex with her in October and then not again regularly until about 3-4 weeks ago.  Prior to that, I had not had vaginal intercourse with anyone in about 1 year.  My Dr. explained that if I had been infected from prior vaginal intercourse dating back to Feb of 2009, I would most certainly show antibodies by this time.  There were two or three other occcasions in the past several months that I performed and recieved oral sex on a female for a few minutes other than the girl I am now dating.  My understanding is that although there is some risk from performing oral sex on a female that the risk is quite low. I have not had any type of illness or sickness in the last few months that could be attributed to HIV exposure, although I understand that some if not all show no symptoms at all.  My dr wanted to go ahead and take more blood to check the "viral load" to see if in fact there is any virus in my blood.  I am currently waiting those results.  Regardless of those results, she will do another blood test in 3-4 months to retest.  As you can imagine, i am going out of my mind.  I have been quite upfront with the girl I am now seeing and we have not had sex since this all started last week.  I guess my questions are:

1) What are the chances that the initial screening could be erroneous?
2) what are the chances I got HIV from performing oral sex on an infected person at the end of december? ( i do not know that she was or is infected)
3) What are the chances that I have gotten something from the new girl? As I said, we first had sex (unprotected in October) and again not until 3-4 weeks ago? My guess would be that she did not have anything in October because she recently tested negative and would my iniital screening already show "reaction" if I was only infected in the last few weeks?

Thank you so much for any replies I really appreciate it!!!!
« Last Edit: February 15, 2010, 02:43:31 AM by dmvcc99 »

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Inital Screening Poz, no antibodies found
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2010, 02:51:12 AM »
You don't have HIV. Let me add to that, you would not get a positive result without antibodies with an ELISA test. 3-4 weeks post exposure is really to early to test and going over to the I Just Tested Positive and reading threads is not going to be of any help to you.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2010, 03:15:24 AM by RapidRod »

Offline Ann

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Re: Inital Screening Poz, no antibodies found
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2010, 08:43:28 AM »
dm,

1. There's a huge chance you had a false positive, especially if you were tested with rapid testing.

2. Zero. Going down on a woman is NOT a risk for hiv infection. Getting a blowjob, with or without a condom, is also NOT a risk for hiv infection.

3. Who knows? You two should be using condoms until such time as you are securely monogamous and have tested TOGETHER for ALL STIs, not just hiv. TO CONSENT TO UNPROTECTED INTERCOURSE IS TO CONSENT TO BEING INFECTED WITH A SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTION.

The vast majority of people who have actually been infected will seroconvert and test positive by six weeks, with the average time to seroconversion being 22 days. So yes, it is possible to test positive only a few weeks following infection.

You need to find a new doctor. What yours has told you makes no sense and she is not using the correct follow-up testing. You said she told you that your hiv test was positive, but no antibodies were found. That's ridiculous, frankly. The hiv tests look for antibodies and if the test was positive, then antibodies were  found - or at least proteins that make up the antibodies were found. However, sometimes the tests are just wrong as they have picked up on other proteins present in your blood. Pregnancy and autoimmune disease are two conditions that can make this happen.

Your doctor should have taken blood for another standard antibody test and a Western Blot. The Western Blot is the test used to confirm a positive result, or rule out a positive result in the case of a false positive.

I hope your doctor at least had the sense to use an RNA viral load test and not a DNA test. The DNA test is NOT approved for diagnostic purposes as it has a high rate of false positives. Let's hope you don't get one of those.

If I were you I'd retest at a clinic where they deal with hiv tests on a regular basis. Your doctor does not seem to be familiar with testing protocol or even the tests themselves. I also suggest you read through the Testing Lesson linked to in our Welcome Thread.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...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 dmvcc99

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Re: Inital Screening Poz, no antibodies found
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2010, 01:04:15 PM »
Ann and Rapid Rod...thank you so much for your replies.  Now i am thinking that maybe I misunderstood my dr..keep in mind, I almost passed out in the office when the info was given to me. Perhaps I didnt understand what she was saying.  However, she kept talking about the "window" and that if I was in fact infected what the "inconclusive" ( in my opinion) results were saying was that due to the window period, it could have been a recent exposure because "everything" wasnt coming back positive.  Ann, she did talk about the Western Blot and how only that coming back positive would confirm the initial results and to not talk with any previous partners YET until those results were back which would be sometime this week.  In addition, she said regardless, an additional screening would need to be done in 3-4 months to rule anything out.  aaaahhhhhh....im goin nuts! thanks again for your responses.

Offline Ann

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Re: Inital Screening Poz, no antibodies found
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2010, 01:21:29 PM »
dm,

A test at three months past your last incident of unprotected intercourse will be conclusive.

I suggest that both you and your girlfriend get conclusive negative hiv tests (and negative results for all the other, more easily transmitted STIs as well) TOGETHER before you continue to have unprotected intercourse.

I'm glad to hear that your doctor does know about the WB tests. It renews my faith in her. It sounds as though you had an inconclusive test result, rather than a positive. In the case of actual infection, that can happen in the first two to four weeks. Most often an inconclusive antibody test is actually a negative, but re-doing the test along with a WB is necessary.

Ann

« Last Edit: February 15, 2010, 01:25:02 PM by Ann »
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...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 dmvcc99

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Re: Inital Screening Poz, no antibodies found
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2010, 04:15:04 PM »
Thanks again Ann for the timely response. We did just both test negative for any and al other STD's. I just hope that everything is ok.  I am trying to be very positive about all of this.  I know that HIV is not the death sentence that it once was and many infected people can lead normal lives.  I worry more about my new gf than myself.  We recently started dating after a 2 year "courtship" and are already talking about marriage and obviously this would put a wrench in the relationship. But, i just keep thinking that unless she gave me something, I could not have gotten it anywhere else...at least not in the last 3-4 months from performing oral sex on another female 1 or two times and that me tests would have certianly been positive had I contracted anything a year ago.  Thanks again to you and Rapid for your thoughts on my situation.

Offline dmvcc99

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Re: Inital Screening Poz, no antibodies found
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2010, 12:48:41 AM »
Ann, one last question as I wait for my latest results coming this week.  Is the ELISA test most likely the one that was given me through my private doctor?? From what I have read, it sounds like that is the standard thing? Also, all my other std screenings came back negative as did hers.  Just thought I would mention that.
DM.....thanks again.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Inital Screening Poz, no antibodies found
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2010, 08:44:04 AM »
Yes, the ELISA is the standard test and what I would expect your doctor to have been using.

There's nothing wrong with calling your doctor's office and asking to be certain. It's good to get into the habit of asking questions about HIV and about health in general when you have them.
Andy Velez

Offline dmvcc99

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Re: Inital Screening Poz, no antibodies found
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2010, 03:58:17 PM »
Ann, Andy and Rapid Rod -- thank you to the three of you for what you do. Im sure without knowing it, you are able to allay fears for many people who are negative while at the same time offering support and comfort for those who are positive.  Now, a quick update on my situation:

Doc called just a little while ago.  I asked her to clarify what happened on the first screening.  What she said was that initial screening which was an ELISA test showed reaction but no antibodies thus creating a situation to retest.  The secondary test looking for antibodies was negative.  However, because of the window period they wanted me to come back in and have more blood drawn for the "western blot" (ANN, i know you had some concerns about my Dr so this should make you happy!!  :) ) She just called and said that the western blot was negative and no antibodies were found.  That makes me happy.  She did however say that i do need to be retested in 3 months to absolutely rule it all out and not to have unprotected sex until then..I am perfectly fine with that. 

My last questions for you guys and then Im out of your hair:
DOes all of this make sense to you guys? I understand that going down on a woman is of no risk.  This may be a dumb question and I may get yelled at for it ;) but if a woman has been recently exposed and is in the perioud where she has a higher rate of transmission, does that increase the chance of being exposed by going down on her or is it a zero risk at all times?? and, Is it still possible that even tho my results have come back as they have, that it is still to early to test.  The only behavior I thought was risky before talking with you was going down on a "high risk" woman in the beginning of January..is this why my dr wants to retest in 3 months? Thanks again everythong! I really appreciate it.
DM

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Inital Screening Poz, no antibodies found
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2010, 04:06:57 PM »
You're HIV negative. I don't agree with your doctor's recommendation to re-test at 6 months. For a longtime the CDC, which is quite conservative, has recommended 3 months as a reliable testing point. The exceptions to that and testing to 6 months are when longtime intravenous drug use is involved or organ transplant or treatment for cancer.

So as far as I am concerned you're negative and there's no need for further testing. Period.
Andy Velez

Offline dmvcc99

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Re: Inital Screening Poz, no antibodies found
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2010, 04:22:52 AM »
Andy or Ann, is it normal protocol to retest in 3 months with the way my results came back...doc told me no unprotected sex until next test?? Tks.
DM

Offline Ann

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Re: Inital Screening Poz, no antibodies found
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2010, 05:16:08 AM »
dm,

With the way your tests came back (second one neg) you do not need further testing as Andy told you.

You should not have unprotected intercourse with your girlfriend until such time as SHE has ALSO had a conclusive negative test result.

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 dmvcc99

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Ann, Rapid and Andy
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2010, 05:24:22 AM »
Hey all, hope all is well.  So, through my own recent experience, I have been having some conversations with friends/co workers.  I am really amazed at how many people are still not really educated on HIV and mainly the transmission of it. I am not ashamed to say that I too, learned quite a bit through my recent situation.  I hope you dont mind, but I come back to you with a couple of other questions that recently came up during conversations with friends.

The one thing that amazed me most is how many people do not know that semen or vaginal fluid can carry the virus.  Here are our questions:

1) We have read that a person who has just been infected and/or seroconverted can be highly contagious during this time period.  Now, i understand a male performing cunnilingus on a female is of no risk.  Does this stand true during one of the "highly contagious" periods if such a thing exists? Meaning, could there be a higher rate of transmission if any at all if the female had JUST recently been exposed?

2) Since my elisa showed reaction but western blot was negative at roughly 6 weeks after performing oral sex on a risky female, was a retest at 13 weeks not recomended by any of you as i have seen in other posts  structly upon the theory that i did not perform a risky sexual act? If so, why would my doctor recommend a retest at approx 3-4 months? The notion that I could have been in the "Window Period" and that the antibodies just have not shows up has been suggested.

These are the questions that have come up in group discussions.  I dont think that I am re-asking anything but would like the opporunity to educate those around me that really don' t understand a lot about this virus.  Thank you for your time and consideration
« Last Edit: March 05, 2010, 05:31:17 AM by dmvcc99 »

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Inital Screening Poz, no antibodies found
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2010, 09:29:15 AM »
DN, even if the woman on whom you performed cunnilingus was newly infected it still wouldn't have been other than a theoretical risk for you. The vaginal fluids which would contain HIV are in the cervical area, which is far up in the vaginal cavity. Cunnilingus would not bring you into contact with that area. So, no risk.

I can't account for why your doctor would have been suggesting re-testing at 3-4 months. If there had been a real risk, and I repeat agian that you didn't have such a risk, 3 months has long been recommended by the CDC as a reliable testing point for a conclusive result.

 
Andy Velez

Offline dmvcc99

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Ann
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2010, 06:40:24 PM »
So I recently got some billing info back from my insurance company and had one more question.  Ann, it seems as though the third test that was done was a DBAb VL test.  This test came back negative.  I know that you had some concerns about this test and that ideally a RNA test should be used.  Is your concern more that these show false positives? and if so, the fact that it came back negative should put me in the clear? your thoughts? Thank you.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Inital Screening Poz, no antibodies found
« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2010, 06:50:43 PM »
Ann is temporarily away from the Forums. I am not going to try to second guess what Ann had in mind nor am I going to attempt to interpret what your insurance company sent to you.

The bottom line is that you never had a risk to begin with. You need to accept that and get on with your life. Period. AND follow Ann's suggestion to not have unprotected intercourse until your gf has had a negative test result and you two are certain that you are in a monogamous relationship.
Andy Velez

Offline dmvcc99

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Ann
« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2010, 04:18:52 AM »
Ann, you were kind enough to give me some answers to several questions a few months back.   I wanted to ask you what your experience or opinion was of the HIV 1 DNA AMP PROBE as a follow up test to an inconclusive elisa and secondary test.  The DNA amp probe is what my dr. ordered approx 35 days post possible exposure and it came back negative.  I have read different opinions regarding this test as a diagnostic, but what about a follow up test? Dr. did ask me to come back in in the next couple weeks to be retested regardless.  Your thoughts? Thank you.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Inital Screening Poz, no antibodies found
« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2010, 08:12:12 AM »
DM, I've merged your threads here. Please follow our rule and keep all of your intries in this same thread. Thanks for your cooperation.

The test you took is a valid one. A negative at 6 weeks is a very good sign that you will continue to test negative at 13 weeks. And 13 weeks/3months is when you ought to re-test for a final, conclusive negative result, as the CDC recommends. Inconclusive results happen for all sorts of reasons. Given what you have reported that prompted your concerns to begin with, I certainly expect you will continue to test negative.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2010, 08:13:52 AM by Andy Velez »
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