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Author Topic: Confused by HIV Test  (Read 2546 times)

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Offline Still Worried Jack

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Confused by HIV Test
« on: November 20, 2011, 07:05:08 AM »
Dearest expert moderators,

We have a few questions pertaining to HIV testing to which we hope you can provide some answers. If we may, please allow us to begin.

My wife and I have been married for over ten years, during which time we have been entirely faithful. Sure, on occasions I might have visited a few masseuses and enjoyed the much celebrated handjobs. There have never been any sexual intercourse and the furthest that I might have gone was hand stimulation of the masseuse's genitalia, but always with her underwear on. So I am convinced that I have not exposed myself unnecessarily to the virus.

What happened in June was, however, somewhat inexplicable, at least to the best of our knowledge. On June 29, my wife was asked to undergo a blood test for insurance purposes. Her test result came back "indeterminate", being made up of two negatives and one positive. The two negatives were on EIA and Immunochromatography, whilst the positive was on ECLIA. As you can imagine, we were in shock, disbelief and totally disorientated. We did not inject drugs, did not have tattoos nor pierced ears. Our minds kept racing back in time to identify any incident of possible exposure - ear rings, visit to the dentist, etc - but just could not pinpoint any specific incident. The doctor who attended to my wife said that it could have been some other viral infection but no idea what it was. The uncertainty drove us crazy; we lost 2-3 kilograms due to the anxiety, loss of appetite and lost sleep.

Then on July 1, on seeing the state my wife and I were in, the doctor suggested that she went for a PCR DNA test (nested PCR for HIV1 and 2). The result came back negative. Obviously, we were comforted somewhat by the result, though we remained nervous and would appreciate deeply if you could help us with our queries.

What could have caused the positive ECLIA?? Our limited knowledge (via readings on the web) tells us that, perhaps, it could have been due to her allergy. What happened was that since early January this year, my wife, including my daughter, developed an allergy which could only be suppressed by taking Zyrtec. Her allergy would cause her eyes to itch and tear, whilst her throat would also itch. If not for Zyrtec, she would not be able to drive as the itch in her eyes would be very teary.

So far, we have not been successful at isolating the reason for the positive ECLIA. The doctor who attended to my wife said that there was nothing to worry about: that the positive ECLIA was a false positive, given our sexual histories and the totality of the tests; that the PCR was good indication that my wife was HIV negative. But the doctor also suggested that we came back six months later to run the test again, though not mandatory. He said that it was W.H.O. guidelines. So here we are, nearly two weeks prior to the re-test date and wondering if we should actually re-test. In all, we are just confused!

Please, please help us. How can HIV tests be so confusing? Really appreciate your answers and yes, our deepest apologies for writing such a long thread. Please bear with us. Thank you so much for your patience and understanding.

Massively grateful,
Still Worried Jack and wife.

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Confused by HIV Test
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2011, 07:08:08 AM »
Intermediate is not a positive or negative result. PCR-DNA are not approved diagnostic and your wife does not have HIV.

Offline Still Worried Jack

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  • Posts: 3
Re: Confused by HIV Test
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2011, 07:15:41 AM »
Thank you so much, RapidRod. But can I ask how does one come to that conclusion? That would help us a lot. Thanks again.

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
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Re: Confused by HIV Test
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2011, 06:05:05 AM »

The doctors followed the correct procedures to determine your wife's hiv status - which is most definitely hiv negative.

False positive results can happen for all sorts of reasons, including but not limited to pregnancy and auto-immune disease. Sometimes they just happen for no apparent reason.  The first test was most likely the false indeterminate, otherwise they would have had no reason to follow up with additional tests. This first test may have been a rapid test and rapid tests are well-known for sometimes returning false positive or indeterminate results.

An indeterminate isn't even a true positive result. And hers was falsely indeterminate.

Relax and get on with your lives. Neither of you need additional testing at this time - you'd only need to test if you need that result for peace of mind.

And by the way, you're correct, "happy ending" massages are just that - happy and an end to it. Nothing you've reported massage-wise was a risk for hiv infection.

Your wife does not have hiv. Go out and celebrate!

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 Still Worried Jack

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Re: Confused by HIV Test
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2011, 11:40:03 AM »

Thank you very much for your reply and kind words. Yes, we are very comforted by your interpretation which, in all honesty, is by far the most telling that we have received. Really, thank you so much.

Warmest regards,
Less Worried Jack and wife.


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