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Author Topic: HIV false positive?  (Read 8637 times)

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Offline tanker888

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HIV false positive?
« on: September 29, 2007, 06:18:58 PM »
Hi everyone. Been lurking around the site for the last 3 months, lots of great advise and support, great people like Ann, RapidRod, Andy… Here is my case. I am a 27 year old male. The IDC specialist informed me Sep 25 that I had HIV false positive diagnosis, but I find it very hard to believe. Something doesn’t make sense. I negative ELISAs in 98, 99, 01, and 02.  My fiancé tested negative after my first HIV indeterminate test. I ended my sexual relationship with ex-girlfriend who's HIV status is unknown on Feb 15, 2007. I requested my first HIV test during my first in 5 years routine medical exam

May 25, 07 I tested ELISA positive, WB indeterminate with gp41 (+-) and gp40 (+-). (+- means a weak band).  WBC count at 10.7, no differential.
Hepatitis A/B/C-> negative, Hep A minute trace possibly due to immunity.

Starting the same day I submitted blood, I was ill for two weeks, including sore throat that is still present today. My fiancé was sick as well, but she was cured in two weeks. The next three months I went from a person who lived the life to fullest to somebody who was barely alive :(. I stopped exercising, eating normally, was living mostly on junk.  I started sleeping 11-12 hours (from 7-8). Gained 12 pounds. My throat been sore for entire three months staring the day I tested (before I even found out the results). Three months later I mustered my strength to confirm my fear and move on.

August 28, 07 (3 months later) -> HIV 1 ELISA positive, WB indeterminate with gp41 (+-) PCR-> not detected, RNA BDNA quantitative-> less than detection threshold, HIV 2 ELISA/WB-> negative, WBC count 5500, Lymphocytes -> 1950, CD4 38%, CD4 counts 721, helper/suppressor T cell ratio =1.65
ESR=1 (low), ANA-> negative, Rheumatoid factor-> negative, Syphilis-> Negative

IDC specialist said that I had false positive HIV test and that I will continue to test ELISA positive. Currently I have problems sleeping less than 10 hours, and experience weakness/ sleepiness during the day. My sore throat still persists. Here are a few questions:

1)   My last sex partner with HIV unknown status was my ex-girlfriend in  Feb 15, 2007 (6 months 20 days before second test). Can I still be sero-converting?
2)   Can I be infected with HIV O?
3)   My WBC dropped from 10.7 to 5.5 in 3 months. Is that normal?
4)   My latest T-cell test looks normal, but does immune system looks to be overall down
5)   Could some other virus/bacteria be causing my current symptoms this like EBV, CMV, Lyme?
6)   What could cause my weakness and excessive sleepiness?
7)   Any other test I should run? Seeing my gp in 4 days

Thanks a lot
Worried individual

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: HIV false positive?
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2007, 06:46:03 PM »

As hard as you might find it to believe your doctor is right. You've had a false positive.

Positive ELISA + Indeterminate WB == HIV negative.

Your other numbers indicate that your immune function is normal.


Offline Andy Velez

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Re: HIV false positive?
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2007, 09:15:05 AM »
Good that you're seeing your GP in a few days. That's the person with whom you need to discuss all your physical concerns.

As troubling as an indeterminate test result is, it is just that: indeterminate. I  suggest getting re-tested to put your mind at ease.

Keep us posted and good luck.

Andy Velez

Offline tanker888

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Re: HIV false positive?
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2007, 02:02:33 PM »
MtD, Andy, thanks for responses. What worries me the most is the gp41, which is the most specific HIV antibody, and from all the reading I have done, the least likely to cause the false positive HIV test result. Also I been testing negative before on ELISAs, and now I am reactive. It could be that whatever is making my weak gp41, could be triggering ELISA, since ELISAs are probably more sensitive on gp41 protein. I am going find ELISA test that gives a reactivity number., so I can now how reactive it is. Also my immune system looks a bit down. I wish I had some baseline immune system numbers a few years ago so I could compare. Does anybody now what and average ESR is for HIV seroconverting person?

Worried individual
« Last Edit: September 30, 2007, 02:04:12 PM by tanker888 »

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: HIV false positive?
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2007, 03:04:41 PM »
Stop speculating and guessing and looking for more opinions about whatever detail you're focusing on.

The bottom line is that ONLY an HIV test can give you the answer you want. GET TESTED.
Andy Velez

Offline Ann

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    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: HIV false positive?
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2007, 06:17:19 PM »
CD4 38%, CD4 counts 721

Also my immune system looks a bit down.


You're joking, right? Most hiv positive people would give their right arms AND legs for numbers like those. Going by the lab results you've posted, there's nothing wrong with your immune system. You've had a false positive; they happen. If you're looking for tests to suggest to your doctor, I'd suggest looking for autoimmune problems, as autoimmune diseases can sometimes cause false positive hiv results. So can pregnancy, but I doubt that is causing your falsies.

Condoms are a girl's best friend

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Offline tanker888

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Re: HIV false positive?
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2007, 01:01:02 AM »
A quick update, and the results are more confusing, and making me very blue.
May 25 ELISA pos, WB indeterminate with weak gp41 (Kaiser)
Aug 28 ELISA pos, WB indeterminate with weak gp 41 (Kaiser), PCR neg, BDNA neg, P24 panel neg
CD4-> 721, CD8-> 434, CD4 %-> 38%, CD4/CD8- 1.65, Lymphocytes-> 1890
Sep 28 -> ELISA pos, PCR neg (KAISER)
Nov 12 -> Home access ELISA negative
Nov 15 -> Labcorp ELISA negative
Dec 10 -> ELISA pos (Kaiser)
CD4-> 680, CD8-> 519, CD4 %-> 34%, CD4/CD8-> 1.31, Lymphocytes-> 1998

Two negative ELISA's: one from Home Access and another from Labcorp, followed by positive ELISA from Kaiser :(. Physically I feel much better, less tired, sleep less, no more sore throat. However, my CD4, CD4% went down, CD4/CD8 ratio went down. What is happening? Second T-cell panel was done at 9 am, first one at 5 pm.

Is my T-Cell panel within daily variation limits?
What about CD4/CD8 ratio?

I thought that one was suppose to stay stable :(. I am very confused and feeling blue :(

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: HIV false positive?
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2007, 01:52:23 AM »
Dec 10 -> ELISA pos (Kaiser)

And the WB result on this ELISA positive was?


Offline tanker888

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Re: HIV false positive?
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2007, 02:45:33 AM »
No WB was provided. I waited 7 days for ELISA to come back. I will check back this Friday if WB came in.

Offline 411

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Re: HIV false positive?
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2007, 02:58:50 AM »
Everything you've posted would support your ID specialist's diagnosis of HIV negative. Reflex testing after positive ELISAs with consistent indeterminate results over time support a diagnosis of HIV negative. Moreover, all the other bloods are consistent with values expected to support a negative result, particularly the PCR results.

As Ann pointed out, some people will test out as you have yet are not infected with HIV. From my perspective your ID doc has pursued the correct course of action given your unusual ELISA/WB results and there should be no reason to continue pursuing the line of thinking you are on.

Something is obviously causing the results you are experiencing and if you continue to feel ill I would suggest continued work on that with your doctor but there's no conspiracy going on with your diagnosis; you're HIV negative.

Edited to add: CD4 counts vary dependant on the time of day blood is drawn; its normal variance tied into circadian rhythm
« Last Edit: December 20, 2007, 03:08:10 AM by 411 »

Offline tanker888

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Re: HIV false positive?
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2007, 01:26:07 PM »
Western Blot came in, results are even more confusing (lab calls it indeterminate with no HIV 1 viral bands present):

GP-160 – neg
GP-120 - neg
   P-65 – neg
  P-55 – neg
  P-51 – neg
GP-41 - neg
  P-40 – neg
  P-31- neg
  P-24 – neg
  P-18- neg
HIV 1 AB band Pattern, IB -> PRES, comment -> “NON SPECIFIC VIRAL BANDS”
HIV 1 AB, IB -> indeterminate

I look at it and I see that no HIV 1 bands are presents. Weak GP 41 went away.  But non-specific viral bands are present.  Why cannot they call this Western Blot negative and get over with it? I already had HIV-2 Elisa and Western Blot, both came back negative. Can this be HIV-1 group O?

« Last Edit: December 21, 2007, 01:28:04 PM by tanker888 »

Offline RapidRod

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Re: HIV false positive?
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2007, 01:34:25 PM »
That did tell you that you were negative and it also includes subtype O.  You're negative.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: HIV false positive?
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2007, 06:38:57 PM »
I've seen this before where someone tests negative and then seem to want it to be delivered in some different language along with flowers and at the front door.


You're HIV negative. Period. End of story.

Be glad, take a breath and let iit go. Really.
Andy Velez


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