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Author Topic: I keep getting false positive antibody tests, and have suspicious symptoms...  (Read 3762 times)

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Offline bbking

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  • Posts: 3
I engaged in unprotected insertive vaginal with a woman of unknown status, in which I came in contact with a good serving of menstrual blood. Three days later I experienced a sudden flu in which I experienced a complete loss of appetite, high fever, white spots on my tonsils that were difficult to remove, and blanching non-raised rash all over my back, and digestive problems. My prior encounter before that one involved only receptive oral, and was at least 4 months before that.
I got tested at a month after the high risk encounter, 4 months, and 6 months, with Positive ELISA and Negative Western Blot. For months I have been experiencing male "hot flashes" in which I just start sweating and my neck and forehead gets sweated and flushed. I get frequent night sweats which occasionally force me to change clothes, and sometimes I wake up with bright red stiff hands and have a chronic sore throat. My doctor could not determine the cause.

Does it sound like I might be one of the delayed seroconverters, or that I got another blood borne illness, that's stricking the ELISA tests? I tested for syphilis and it was negative. The woman received a hepatitis b vaccination before we met, and she doesn't do injection drugs.

Offline Matty the Damned

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  • Posts: 12,265
  • Ninja Please

A positive ELISA test + a negative Western Blot test == HIV negative.

The purpose of a Western Blot test is to confirm a positive ELISA test. ELISA's for a number of reasons occasionally return false positives, as is the case with you, and so the highly specific WB test is used to verify that result.

I know this can be confusing, but nonetheless you are HIV negative.

No I don't think you're one of the delayed seroconverters. Delayed seroconversion occurs in a tiny minority of people such as transplant patients who've received immunosuppressive therapy, cancer patients receiving certain kinds of kick-arse chemotherapy and some long term injecting drug users.

In short, if you were one of these people you and your doctors would know it.

As for other blood borne diseases, well no these wouldn't be the cause of the false positive results you've gotten on the ELISA test.

Like your doctors we cannot say what the cause of your symptoms are but, given the blood test results you report, we can rule out HIV infection. Keep working with your medical team to determine what is making you will.

And yes I'm aware that you came in contact with menstrual blood. No, this doesn't change my answer.

Best regards,


Online Andy Velez

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I just want to reinforce what Matty has told you.

A positive ELISA and a negative western blot means you are HIV negative. The western blot is highly sensitive and specific and trumps the positive ELISA. Always.

As far as your symptoms are concerned that's something for you to discuss with your doctor. Whatever is going on has nothing to do with HIV. Period. End of story.

You do need to learn from this experience. Although the risk to a guy during unprotected vaginal sex is low, low risk is not the same as no risk. So you can have all the sex you want with as many partners as you like. You just have to make sure you wear a latex condom everytime. They do the job very effectively but you have to be using one for it to work.

Good luck with finding out what is really causing your symptoms because it is definitely not HIV.


Andy Velez

Offline bbking

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  • Posts: 3
HIV 2 testing isn't necessary?

Offline RapidRod

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  • Posts: 15,288
HIV 2 testing is not necessary.

Online Andy Velez

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 31,892
Time to give it up and to be very glad that you are HIV negative. Really.

Keep those condoms handy and in the future use one everytime you have intercourse so that you don't have to go through this again. No exceptions. Use one everytime.

Andy Velez

Offline bbking

  • Member
  • Posts: 3
Is Hepatitis B likely to cause a severe acute illness with fever & chills/sweating & rash on the chest? I am going to get a Hepatitis A and B test and and hopefully vaccine, if the tests are negative. I don't do any drugs, and have had few sexual partners, but HBV is 100 times more contagious than HIV, so it sounds fairly easy to catch, and that can become chronic.
Does Hepatitis C testing sound warranted on top of the HAV and HBV tests?

Offline Ann

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  • Member
  • Posts: 28,138
  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?

Nothing you report sounds like any type of hepatitis, but if you want to test for hepatitis, go ahead. It's the ONLY way to know your hep status for certain. You may as well test for hep C as well, why not?

In my opinion, EVERYONE should be screened for these illnesses at least every few years or more often if there is risk behaviour. There are far more people walking around out there with undiagnosed hepatitis than there are people with hiv.

Let me remind you that this is an hiv website. You do not have hiv and there is nothing more we can do for you here.

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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


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