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         Hello. I a male of 27 years old. Yesterday night my ex-girfriend called me on the phone and told me that she tested positive for the Elisa test and negative for the Western Blot, so she doesn't have the HIV virus. However, she warned me of conducting an HIV test since HER DOCTOR TOLD HER THAT A FALSE POSITIVE ELISA COULD IMPLY THAT, DESPITE SHE IS NOT INFECTED, SHE PROBABLY HAVE SEXUAL RELATIONS WITH SOMEONE WHO ACTUALLY WAS INFECTED.
    ┐Is that real? And if so, ┐Could I be that person, considering I havent even seen her for almost two years?
     Of course I will immediately conduct an HIV test, but I will be very happy to know if what she told me(or her doctor told her) is true.
     One last question: I have herpes in my mouth from time to time. ┐Does that increase the chances of a false positive in an Elisa Test?
Thank you very much. If possible, please reply promply. : - )


If need to be clarified, I had unprotected sex with her and other women before her.
Regarding the "other women before her", it is worth to mention that the unprotected sex was done with a few women but only ONCE with each. (5 women I believe, only once with each one).

Andy Velez:

Herpes is only an issue as far as making you more vulnerable to HIV transmission if when you are having an active herpes episode you have unprotected sex.

If you have had any unprotected intercourse whether recently or in the distant past then you need to get tested for HIV. A test should be done at not less than 13 weeks after the most recent unprotected incident.

As far as the ELISA is concerned, a negative on the western blot always trumps a positive on the ELISA. You should not be basing your evaluation of your HIV status on what your ex-gf or anyone else has to say. Only your own HIV test done at the appropriate time can give you that answer.

And just in general remember that no matter who your partner is you should be wearing a latex condom everytime you have intercourse. No exceptions. Period. Everytime you have unprotected intercourse you are putting your life at risk. It's as stark and as simple as that. No kidding.

Good luck with your test result.


Thank you very much for the reply.

 What is the probability of an Elisa Test to be false positive?
 What is the probability of contracting the disease in a ONE TIME male-to-female sexual intercourse without protection (supposing the female is HIV+ and the male HIV-)???    (I have heard it was very low and I don't know if that is a myth or not. I also read the "HIV Transmission Lesson" but still couldn't get specific information about this issue)

 To what extent herpes increases the probability of transmission?

  Thank you very much for all of your advice and work. It has been by far the best source of information I have found in the WEB.
  I am not an expert in the subject but I'd like to help you in any way to continue carrying on this wonderful service you are giving to humanity.

Marion, I don't know the answers to your questions regarding the "false positive" or "herpes" questions.  However, what stood out to me was that in 2006 you seem amazed that HIV transmission could be from female to male.  It matters not that there was only one time each with five women.  The African continent is being depleted of heterosexual beings from this very mode of transmission.  I was around your age when I was infected and that was some twenty-three years ago (an age when I was invincible, as I recall)!

Please, if you have had or are having unprotected sex 1) get tested, and 2) STOP!  HIV is indiscriminate and there are many options available to avoid becoming infected.  Don't buy into any myth's about low probability modes of transmission.  There is too much information out there to take a risk nowadays.  A good motto to live by: Believe nothing you hear and only half of what you see.

I don't mean this to sound like a reprimand but am only offering you sound advice from someone who's been there and regretted it.


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