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Should I get re-tested, or is this just denial?

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I justed test HIV+ Thursday.  There's a number of things timeline-wise - and making me question the doctor's competence - that make me wonder if I should get a quick test prior to going in for my VL etc next week.  There's only been one mild illness I have had this entire year - back in June - lasted about a week, fever, doctor at the ER described as some unpronouncable viral issue that he'd seen in several people.  It went away.  About two days before I started having this sickness was my first test which came back negative (and was 25+ days after being with a person I later found out was poz for all of about two minutes, unsafe and stupid, but no orgasms or anything).  If this was seroconversion, shouldn't that test have been indeterminate or positive?  Also, about two weeks later, I ended up cleaning up after a very toxic flood - I was basically up to my elbows in chemical mud, bacterial sludge, which judging from the smell and health advisories for almost two weeks - shouldn't I have had *some* illness from this?  Even with the negative result I was afraid of this stuff.  I know true "false positives" are virtually unheard of, but this is the same doctor whose 3-day test took almost two weeks to get back, he ran (I assume ELISA and WB) on the same single sample which I seem to remember the first guy who tested me back in June say they did not do.  If it's a true positive, I can accept that and deal with this - but given other things he's said, and the fact that I have not been sick a day except for back in June despite working 20+ hours a day some days, poor diet, almost no exercise - I'm wondering if I should not get a confirmation from Oraquick or something.  And if he did screw up, someone in the State needs to hear this because I would not want anyone to go through the hell myself and my family have gone through in the past week.  Just some advice as to whether procedurally this makes sense - or if I'm just totally nuts.


Did your doctor advise you that you are HIV positive? Did you receive your copy of the tests showing you that you are positive? If not, you should be posting in the "Am I Infected?" forum.


Your initial positive hiv test should have been double checked with another ELISA and a Western Blot. You can read more about hiv testing in the HIV Testing Lesson.

If you cannot be sure your positive result has been confirmed through the proper procedures, then yes, by all means, you should have it double checked with another test. There are many GPs out there who don't know the first thing about hiv testing, so it is very possible you don't yet have a conclusive positive result.

Good luck and keep us posted.


I remember when I tested positive on 11/20/06, I held on to the idea that it could have been a false positive. I was like you in that I had been healthy as a horse forever. I had recently begun to have strange digestive issues though, but I was hanging on to every shred of denial. I hink you should go to a competent site and get an instant test. They sometimes confirm an oral fluid test with a fingerprick test. All in less than an hour. If you can't wait to find out this is an option.

I had tested + with an oraquick test. In the back of my mind I knew that it was probably an accurate result. The next day I went to my local gay and lesbian center and they did a fingerprick test(20 minutes). When the counselor got my result, he said to stop wasting time and get to my general physician and start getting care. I did and they ran the elisa and the western blot and it came back reactive. I know it is hard to take, I put off getting tested for a long time.

Standard practice now is to do a cd4 count and a viral load test, along with a virus genotype test which tests for drug resistance. They will do this before they prescribe you any medications. It is highly unlikely that these tests will be inaccurate. You could do what I did and go get other instant tests, as the probability of accurate diagnosis goes up when you take more than one. Best of luck, and I hope you won't have to join our club, but if you do it can be a goldmine of support and information.


It is very possible to still be testing negative 25 days after exposure.  As for the HIV test--if they did the ELISA/Western Blot Combo, you are definitely positive.  All rapid tests should be confirmed by this method, you do not confirm a rapid test with a rapid test (though on the oral samples they will sometimes test with blood to see if that also comes back reactive).  An ELISA/Western blot is recommended to confirm positive rapid tests, while there are false positives on the rapid tests, it is most likely that you'd be found positive on that as well. 

I do not know what the doctor ordered in your case, but gettting a copy of your test results isn't that hard.  I have actually seen physicians order only an ELISA and make assumptions off of that and just because one is an MD doesn't mean they are familiar with HIV.  My bet is though, your test is a true positive.  When you first find out you have HIV, it can be a scary thing and it is easier to think 'Maybe it is a false positive'.  You also have to realize that whether you have been sick or not is irrelevant. 


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